Your friend is scheduled for a parole hearing, which is very exciting, but he needs to be sure he has the following four things lined up before he meets with the board.
- A place to live. It has to be within the same state as the prison, (otherwise he must apply for an interstate compact agreement). The parole office will check out the address to be sure it is valid and suitable as a place of residence, whether it’s a halfway house, a private residence or a shared place.
- Job or prospects. This is where many inmates get frustrated. It is hard to get a job while still in prison, but the parole board wants to know a plan for work. If your friend doesn’t have a job already lined up, he can prepare a list of places where he plans to apply. It won’t hurt to have a list of places that are known to hire felons. He can present it to the board and tell them he will call those companies.
- Support system. The parole board is well-aware of the challenges felons face in securing jobs, apartments and other life necessities. It is important that your friend demonstrates he will have a support system while he gets back on his feet. Letters from family members promising to support him financially while he seeks work can go a long way.
- A good attitude. Your friend will be asked to discuss his case and what his charges were. He will need to tell them how he will handle similar situations in the future. For example, if he is in for assault, he should assure them he has learned to control his anger. This is a good time to bring up any anger management classes he took while locked up.
Final thoughts: Parole boards are very fickle. You can never predict what they are going to do. But if your friend cannot show that these four things are in place, he will probably be denied.