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Many people have misconceptions about what an offender’s projected release date means. It is first helpful to understand what it does not mean. Unless an offender committed their offense before 9/1996 it will never mean that the TDCJ must release an offender on their projected release date. Below I will explain how that date applies and what it means. For the purposes of this article I am assuming the offender is eligible and has a projected release date.
- The projected release date occurs when an offender’s actual time served plus time earned is equal to the length of their sentence.
- On that date the parole board will make a determination as to whether the offender should be released to mandatory supervision.
The easiest way to think of the projected release date is that an offender comes up for parole when they are eligible for parole and, if denied, again when their next review date is set. In addition to those reviews an offender is reviewed for release under mandatory supervision on their projected release date. When an offender is reviewed at that time the parole board analyzes their case differently and statics bear out that an offender has a slightly higher chance of being released on that date. However, it is a mistake to think that an offender is guaranteed to be released. For instance for the last three months of 2013 the average approval rate for nonviolent nonsex offenses was roughly %38 and the average approval rate at an offender’s projected release date for nonviolent nonsex offenses was roughly %55.
At Topek and Topek we represent offenders throughout the Texas Parole process. We believe that an offender deserves an advocate throughout this difficult and confusing process and we believe that by providing the parole board with a more complete picture of our clients, their support system, and parole plans that our services can be helpful to many offenders. If you have any questions about the parole process or our services please fill out an online contact form or call us for a free consultation.