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Advise on a letter to the parole board

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#1
What is the name of your state? Georgia

This is for my son who is a prisoner in GA.

I was convicted in a statutory rape case in Georgia (which was neither manipulative nor coercive in nature, a typical victimless crime scenario of this kind). I write this in anticipation of having to haggle a bit to get a favorable parole date. Parentheses were added to make the structure of the letter obvious.

I'd like comments and suggestions please.

--

To the Board of Pardons and Parole,

(Introduction)

My name is NC, I'm a prisoner at CS Prison. I'm writing this in response to your review of my case file and subsequent assignment of a lengthly projected parole month.


(Remorse)

I want you to know that the consequences of my actions do grieve me and I do think about it. I realize that my choices resulted in a family being broken and I wish there was something that I could do to fix that. I've never really been given the option for restorative justice thus far, and I've already tried the only other thing I could think of to do.


(Initiatives)

When I was in jail, in 2017, I wrote X's mother a letter giving account of myself. I'd thought that explaining myself and apologizing might bring some understanding and perhaps even healing through forgiveness, but with hindsight, I realize that it was a ridiculously naive, even if earnest, thing to do. By that point I certainly hadn't quite come to grips with reality and I still possessed a rather immature and defiantly self-righteous mind frame, full of personal delusions (which, being reflected in my writing, did little to help), but I really did want to apologize if that could help right things. I did mean what I said and intended, that I honestly was sorry for damaging her relationship with X and that I did want to try to do something to fix that. Needless to say, the message didn't come across like I hoped.

I suppose it was way too soon for something like that, for me and for her, but I did try to restore things the best of my ability, even if it came to nothing, and now I am doing all that I *can* do with the only option afforded to me. I recognize my faults that led to the choices I made that landed me here and I am taking initiative and doing my best to correct those. I've taken my classes (though I have to admit, they did leave a lot to be desired at times), I'm speaking with my counselors, I'm pursuing a postsecondary education, I'm making goals and plans... My efforts aren't idle.


(Danger of excess)

I do believe in the value of punitive justice, like confinement, for teaching lessons like dealing with consequences of bad choices, being accountable and responsible, and being humble, but I think there's a point where it does more harm than good when it's applied excessively or disproportionally. I'm sure there are still things for me to learn yet, but I don't think it's a good idea to push past what my resolve is capable of.

Prison is notorious for "institutionalizing" people who languish in it for too long. I don't want to develop a "prison" mentality because of the environment I'm in only to risk becoming a public charge when I am eventually released. Nobody benefits from that scenario. If I'm to be a productive citizen again upon release, realistically it would be best to push my punishment to the heart of the lesson and no further, and then let me prove myself under supervision.


(Commitment)

This has been the most challenging experience of my life and I really do not want a repeat of it. My goal is to be an ethical and law abiding citizen when released so that this, and any other crime, does not happen again, at least from me. My efforts towards overcoming my adversity should testify of that.


(Close)

In closing, I urge you to reconsider your decision regarding my parole projection to one that I am better equipped to handle and one that will give me a better chance at succeeding in society when I am released. Thank you for your time.


Sincerely,

NC
 
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quincy

Senior Member
#4
What is the name of your state? Georgia

This is for my son who is a prisoner in GA.

I was convicted in a statutory rape case in Georgia (which was neither manipulative nor coercive in nature, a typical victimless crime scenario of this kind). I write this in anticipation of having to haggle a bit to get a favorable parole date. Parentheses were added to make the structure of the letter obvious.

I'd like comments and suggestions please.

--

To the Board of Pardons and Parole,

(Introduction)

My name is N.C. I'm a prisoner at C.S. Prison. I'm writing this in response to your review of my case file and subsequent assignment of a lengthly projected parole month.


(Remorse)

I want you to know that the consequences of my actions do grieve me and I do think about it. I realize that my choices resulted in a family being broken and I wish there was something that I could do to fix that. I've never really been given the option for restorative justice thus far, and I've already tried the only other thing I could think of to do.


(Initiatives)

When I was in jail, in 2017, I wrote X's mother a letter giving account of myself. I'd thought that explaining myself and apologizing might bring some understanding and perhaps even healing through forgiveness, but with hindsight, I realize that it was a ridiculously naive, even if earnest, thing to do. By that point I certainly hadn't quite come to grips with reality and I still possessed a rather immature and defiantly self-righteous mind frame, full of personal delusions (which, being reflected in my writing, did little to help), but I really did want to apologize if that could help right things. I did mean what I said and intended, that I honestly was sorry for damaging her relationship with X and that I did want to try to do something to fix that. Needless to say, the message didn't come across like I hoped.

I suppose it was way too soon for something like that, for me and for her, but I did try to restore things the best of my ability, even if it came to nothing, and now I am doing all that I *can* do with the only option afforded to me. I recognize my faults that led to the choices I made that landed me here and I am taking initiative and doing my best to correct those. I've taken my classes (though I have to admit, they did leave a lot to be desired at times), I'm speaking with my counselors, I'm pursuing a postsecondary education, I'm making goals and plans... My efforts aren't idle.


(Danger of excess)

I do believe in the value of punitive justice, like confinement, for teaching lessons like dealing with consequences of bad choices, being accountable and responsible, and being humble, but I think there's a point where it does more harm than good when it's applied excessively or disproportionally. I'm sure there are still things for me to learn yet, but I don't think it's a good idea to push past what my resolve is capable of.

Prison is notorious for "institutionalizing" people who languish in it for too long. I don't want to develop a "prison" mentality because of the environment I'm in only to risk becoming a public charge when I am eventually released. Nobody benefits from that scenario. If I'm to be a productive citizen again upon release, realistically it would be best to push my punishment to the heart of the lesson and no further, and then let me prove myself under supervision.


(Commitment)

This has been the most challenging experience of my life and I really do not want a repeat of it. My goal is to be an ethical and law abiding citizen when released so that this, and any other crime, does not happen again, at least from me. My efforts towards overcoming my adversity should testify of that.


(Close)

In closing, I urge you to reconsider your decision regarding my parole projection to one that I am better equipped to handle and one that will give me a better chance at succeeding in society when I am released. Thank you for your time.


Sincerely,

N.C.
Your post was reported to have real names removed.

We can only provide general information and advice on this forum. Your son should seek out assistance from an attorney specializing in prisoner rights.

I can tell you that your son's letter as written is not likely to help him and is more likely to harm his chances for parole. He is not showing remorse or responsibility for the acts that led to his conviction and incarceration.

Good luck.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
#7
The letter (or letters) as written are not going to help your son.

In fact, the letter you show here is a good example of what NOT to write to a parole board if looking for a "favorable" parole date.

Your son should consult with an attorney.
Much more to the point than what I was considering posting.

I was considering pointing out some of the flaws, but there were too many.
 

Eekamouse

Senior Member
#8
He did the crime. He'll do the time. You'd better serve your son if you stop trying to sugar coat what he did to make it seem less horrible. I'm sure the victim and her family doesn't think it's a victimless crime. Shame on you for not accepting that what your son did was illegal and WRONG.
 

Shadowbunny

Queen of the Not-Rights
#9
I could point out several portions of your son's letter that would (should) torpedo his chances with the parole board. But it's BECAUSE of those portions that I can't, in good conscience, do so. Because your son's letter is evidence that he should stay exactly where he is. Until/unless the day comes that he truly understands why this letter is wrong, he NEEDS to be incarcerated.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#11
When the son is up for parole, he would be well-advised to have an attorney prepare him for, and assist him with, the parole board hearing.

Based strictly on his letter, he does not appear at all ready for release.
 
#12
What do you think of my son sending this letter to the judge?

--

Recently, you denied a motion for sentence modification that I'd filed. I suppose I have plenty of reason not to be surprised there were many aggravating factors surrounding my case to justify your decision, particularly my reoffense, and so I suppose it's no less than deserving. I'd promised not to challenge your decision, so that is not my purpose for writing. The reason I am writing is this: I don't know you very well, but I do consider you to have an objective and thoughtful frame of mind, far more than I, you demonstrated that to me over the course of my case, and I simply want to know if there were other factors that led to your decision.

I realize my request is an unusual one, and hopefully not too inappropriate, but I mean it sincerely. The reason I would like to know your reasoning is because I've been foolish, very, and I genuinely do want to walk away from this experience, whenever it ends, with a wiser frame of mind. I'm young and there are plenty of things I don't know, but I want to be sure that I'm at the very least on the right path to understanding the right things that I should take away from all of this. I do not want to repeat my actions, nor to delve into any other kind of folly. I don't want to needlessly defeat myself any longer. I think an objective outside perspective is important for me right now to help me in my way.

I hadn't originally intended to write something like this, but it's been gnawing at me since I received your decision. I leave it at your discretion whether or not you wish to reply to this, but if you do, please indicate whether or not followup correspondence is appropriate, otherwise I will consider your answer to be final. Thank you for reading!

----

I still don't understand why the first one isn't a good idea. Doesn't it show him to be authentic and sincere?

Thanks for your help,
Susan
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#13
Neither letter will help him. The judge won't even see the letter.

You son sounds like he is trying to be authentic and sincere, but failing. He does not show any credible remorse.
 
#14
DO NOT SEND ANY LETTERS. Period. How can we explain to you, there is NO power in letter writing of this type. It works against one, not in one's favor. If your son can not demonstrate remorse in his spoken interviews with the parole board or before the judge, he needs to KEEP QUIET.
 

Eekamouse

Senior Member
#15
What do you think of my son sending this letter to the judge?

--

Recently, you denied a motion for sentence modification that I'd filed. I suppose I have plenty of reason not to be surprised there were many aggravating factors surrounding my case to justify your decision, particularly my reoffense, and so I suppose it's no less than deserving. I'd promised not to challenge your decision, so that is not my purpose for writing. The reason I am writing is this: I don't know you very well, but I do consider you to have an objective and thoughtful frame of mind, far more than I, you demonstrated that to me over the course of my case, and I simply want to know if there were other factors that led to your decision.

I realize my request is an unusual one, and hopefully not too inappropriate, but I mean it sincerely. The reason I would like to know your reasoning is because I've been foolish, very, and I genuinely do want to walk away from this experience, whenever it ends, with a wiser frame of mind. I'm young and there are plenty of things I don't know, but I want to be sure that I'm at the very least on the right path to understanding the right things that I should take away from all of this. I do not want to repeat my actions, nor to delve into any other kind of folly. I don't want to needlessly defeat myself any longer. I think an objective outside perspective is important for me right now to help me in my way.

I hadn't originally intended to write something like this, but it's been gnawing at me since I received your decision. I leave it at your discretion whether or not you wish to reply to this, but if you do, please indicate whether or not followup correspondence is appropriate, otherwise I will consider your answer to be final. Thank you for reading!

----

I still don't understand why the first one isn't a good idea. Doesn't it show him to be authentic and sincere?

Thanks for your help,
Susan
What other factors do you think led to the denial?
 
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