Letter To The Parole Board
I first and foremost want to sincerely apologize to my community, family, friends, and neighbors as well as you the parole board for my risky and reckless behavior. It was inexcusable. It could have caused extensive harm, and has caused the taxpayers excessive amounts of money to arrest, prosecute and imprison me all because of my selfish and heedless actions. I am grateful there was no real victim who could have suffered irreparable damage from this crime. It has caused me deep sorrow, physical and mental anguish, even to the point of suicide. I take full responsibility for my conduct and am deeply ashamed of my behavior as well as seriously affecting the lives of my wife, son, daughter and countless others due to my inappropriate and impulsive actions, even to the people in this room.
I have looked back to see how self-righteously I acted. The humility I now feel is far from the arrogance that allowed me to converse with a minor in the manner I had done with peer age females. It was this selfishness and lack of forethought for anyone but myself that affected my community, family, friends, work associates and colleagues. The shame, guilt and humiliation I feel is overwhelming. I now carry that as a reminder of what such hubris can do to a person’s life and as a safeguard for returning to such a high level of pride.
I began personal counseling after my arrest and later attended group work for sex offenders. Both were suspended after eight months due to my incarceration. I continued once inside, being an active and willing participant in the Intensive Sex Offender Program (ISOP) here at Mid-State, in fact lobbying to be placed in such a program as soon as I could be. I also continued my personal work and investigation into my actions by reading several current books and articles on the subject as well as corresponding with my outside therapist regularly. That went on more intensely after I successfully completed the ISOP to the point of me wanting to help others supplement their understanding of their sex-related crime. To that end, I put together a proposal for a 12 step program for sex offenders which was accepted by the head of Mid-State ISOP.
The knowledge I have gained about my motives and myself has spurred me on to obtaining my Department of Labor Training Certification in Counseling Aide I. I will continue this investigative work on the outside as well. It will aide me in my goal of working in the counseling field part-time upon my release. I am also going to resume my personal and group therapy and begin marriage counseling, which should have begun years ago prior to my IO, had pride not kept me from doing so. Replacing that feeling is a desire to build back the relationships and trust with all that I have hurt, showing one may fail, but can also remake themselves into a productive, contributing and working member of society once again.
Because of all the learning I have gone through on this my first (and last) time on the wrong side of the law, I know I cannot possibly forget what I have gone through and experienced in this foreign side of life. I have gained information that I feel could be appropriately used to benefit society and may help prevent others from doing as I did. Clearly I abandoned my morals for selfish reasons. By utilizing this knowledge in a positive way, along with my learning in the programs taken inside corrections, I know I am a better person, one who has grown to where I will again be a positive contributor to society.
I thank you for your time and consideration for my release.
This is the letter I included in my parole packet. I also had background information on myself, listing of specific activities while inside corrections, copies of recent work evaluations as well as the Earned Eligibility Certificate, a complete parole plan, letters of support from family and letters of support from various community members. All in all it was over 60 pages, all neatly typed with cover letter and table of contents. I used my evening time judiciously to make it as complete and professional as I could. I talked to some in the law library as well as others who had done or were doing similar work to get ideas. My friends at work, William and Raul, also gave me pointers as they had been in before and had experience with such letters.
On the one hand, I didn’t want to make it too long or boring. But on the other, I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned and miss my opportunity to show the lasting changes I had made. I was repeatedly counseled not to put much emphasis on religious growth as the “jailhouse religion” rational didn’t fly well with boards. They had heard it all before and felt it was overused to gain freedom, not a true representation of a lasting conversion.
The board itself would consist of two to three members who would ask questions and hear anything I had to say. My counselor would be there as well as a counselor from the ISOP. I gave three copies for the board to my counselor in advance so he could forward them appropriately. I also was going to take three more just in case they had not received them or hadn’t had a chance to read it. I was told the hearing itself would last probably 5 – 10 minutes at best, with no way to know the outcome till receiving the news by mail three days or up to a week later.
As I re-read the letters of support from friends and family I started to cry. Here were those closest to me, the ones I had hurt the most, writing to support me in hopes I would be released to return to their community. I was touched by the humanity written there. All the friends who wrote had visited me at least once, some more than that. Most were church friends, but some were just people I had known for a long time. It was true, I had been blessed in this way, having over 35 different people write and over 28 visit me at one time or another, pretty unheard of for most inmates. I was just praying the board would see the inside corrections I had made while incarcerated and judged me worthy of release.
One good friend from the outside, a prominent doctor, had told me he was working on my behalf and going to speak to a high level friend he had who oversaw parole boards. Unfortunately, on a recent visit he told me he was unable to get anywhere and confirmed that the person we all had heard that was arrested for solicitation and attempting to meet an underage female at a motel, a sting operation, was in fact that chairman of parole. He was now a sex offender himself, so there were law suits and all kinds of legal action from those he had supervised or judged while on the parole board. Obviously he was of no help, actually tainting all boards view of people like him – or me.
So I am on my own. But I feel God is with me and will pray without ceasing and asking others to do likewise. I feel that, my continued growth and my parole packet are all I can do to gain my early release.