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Showing support in letter to parole board?

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mjuran
mjuran's picture
Showing support in letter to parole board?

So, I'd like to write a letter on behalf of my pen pal's application for clemency (for commutation of his sentence).  I understand that the board is primarily interested in ascertaining what means of social and financial support the inmate would have, if released, to decide what the chances are he'd re-offend.  Is there some way I can indicate to the board that I could/would be a source of support, even though I'm not currently living in the US and could not, therefore, offer him a place to stay with me or be local to him to help him with the things he'd need, if released?  (He'd have to find a job, place to stay, etc., and I'm not sure he has family or friends on the outside who could help him with that.)  What could I reasonably, convincingly say to the parole board to indicate I would be a solid source of support to my pen pal, to make his application more likely to be successful?  I feel as though merely showing myself to be another person out there interested in his welfare, is nice, but not really substantive enough to make much difference.  Any thoughts on the matter?

FWIW,  this pen pal is zero risk to the community--he committed one crime of passion at age 24, something that should have been considered as less than first degree murder, and got a life sentence without parole for it, back in the early 80's.  Now he's 60, in bad health, with a perfect conduct record, having educated himself and acquired skills to support himself (such as he's been able to, in prison.)  He's in such a low-risk category for re-offending, that really isn'st the issue.  It's more that they want to see that he would have some place to go to after prison.  

I am kind of thinking of reestablishing myself back in the US, though, sometime soon.  And if I did, I could reasonably say in my letter that I would give my pen pal temporary housing and help with establishing himself and reintegrating socially.  However I'd be in a different state from him, so I'm not sure he'd even be able to travel to other parts of the US if he were to be released.

Are there other forms of support I could write about in the letter, that would make a difference to the parole board to hear about?  How much would they care about hearing that I provide him with emotional support?  It may be important to have emotional support, but it sounds lame to write about that in a letter to the parole board.  

Well, thanks for any thoughts anyone has on this.  I want to do the best job I can on this letter for him.

iZice
iZice's picture

Hey mjuran,

I just wrote to one of my penpal and i got inspired by this one: https://fr.scribd.com/document/370921370/Letter-of-Support-Pastor-Leah

I hope it could help you the way it helped me. I wrote about support I provide him at the end of letter.

Good luck with it :) 

mjuran
mjuran's picture

When I think about it--first the state takes away his ability to pursue a career, education, business prospects, or make or set aside money for retirement;  then it severs most social and family ties to the outside world; then it leaves him in a technological and societal time warp for 30 - 40 years, so that if/when he ever does emerge into society again he'll have a lifetime of advancements to learn and get used to, no contacts, no work history, no place to stay.  But, to even get the chance to ever be free again, they want him to show that he can survive outside once they unlock the door.  Brilliant, isn't it?

iZice
iZice's picture

Yeah so fucked up! This system makes me sick :s 

I hope someone there could help you with the letter. I'm a newbie to it and english isn't my native language so not easy.. Keep going on fighting for him. Your letter will do good to him no matter the income.

mjuran
mjuran's picture

Hi, iZice, I missed seeing your first post while I was posting my second...thank you so much!  I'll check out that link, and appreciate your words...

iZice
iZice's picture

You're so welcome :)