Seth Topek
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Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending the Rights of the Accused and the Incarcerated

    In 2012 the parole board considered 80,638 cases.  They approved 29,689 cases for an approval rate of just below 37%. The higher the guideline level, a combined score of the risk level and offense severity class which means an offender represents a lower risk, the greater percentage rate of approvals.  Of the 3,392 offenders with the highest level of 7 2,299 were approved for a 67.8% approval rate.  The board reviewed 11,399 level sixes and 5,700, 50%, were approved for parole.  The board reviewed 14,673 level five offenders and approved 5,813 for a 39% approval rate.  The board reviewed 28,252 offenders who scored a level four and approved 31.6%.  35.3% of level 3 offenders were approved.  27.2 of the 12,241 level 2 offenders were paroled and 13% of level one offenders were paroled.

    It is difficult to glean much from these numbers that is useful when applied to individuals.  It is clear that the percentage of paroles granted was up a significant number.  The percentage rate is up by over five percent.  In 2011 they approved 24,342 of the 78,391 offenders that were considered for a 31% approval rate.  While these numbers do not necessarily help much if you are trying to determine if a loved one is going to be granted parole in a specific case it does seem to show that their understanding of who should be paroled has become broader.  There are many possible explanations for this.  One explanation is that there are a large number of long sentences from the early nineties who are reaching the end of their terms and the parole board is releasing them so that they are under supervision for at least a couple of years before their sentences are finished.  Another theory is that the sex offender programs that are now in use in TDCJ have meant that a large number of individuals who in the past were denied are now being granted parole.   Unfortunately, the parole board does not comment on why these numbers are shifting nor offer a great deal of guidance in how they decide specific votes.

    While it is impossible to know whether a specific inmate will be granted parole at Topek and Topek an experienced Texas parole lawyer can make sure that the parole board be given every reason to parole someone that is available.  We work closely with our clients and their love ones to make sure that the parole board sees who they are beyond the papers given to them by the prison system.  We provide them with insight into who the offender is and why they do not pose a risk to the community and will be successful on parole.  If you have a loved one in a Texas prison unit who will be eligible for parole soon please call us for a free consultation on our toll free number 888-661-5030.  Please fill out a secure online contact form with any question you may have and an experienced Texas parole attorney will call you with answers shortly.  Our offices are in Houston, but our parole practice takes us across the state of Texas.  We represent offenders with families in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Galveston, McAllen, Fort Worth and numerous other cities around the state of Texas.