Since our Law Office receives so many phone calls from inmates and Family members that want assistance (but may not be able to afford a private attorney) in Preparing for the Initial and Subsequent Parole Hearings, we dedicated this June BLOG to describing Resources that our law office has compiled over many years, that may be useful to inmates and/or the Family and Friends of the inmates.
Over our 20+ years of Law practice in the area of Post-Conviction (i.e. Parole Suitability Hearings) we accumulated different resources from many sources: including our clients, transitional homes, other Lifer advocates, etc.. We combined the materials in an informal PDF document that we named TIPS. TIPS was first released in 2012 (20 pages or so) or so; some older version are still floating around in the different prisons.
The (619-233-3688) Law office of Diane T. Letarte has recently Revised the Original “TIPS” pamphlet entitled: “Parole Suitability Hearing Practical Tips”. The last Revision was created December 2020. It has grown to 50 pages or so, see Description below. NOTE: Different then the TIPS2 packet described further below. After reading the TIPS / TIPS2 descriptions below, if you believe it may be helpful to an inmate (or a Family/Friend) - feel free to download it, print it, and US mail it to an inmate (or LO) for assistance in his/her Parole Hearing Preparation.
The PDF files are Free but there is a DOWNLOADABLE small fee (~$6 - $9), which contributes to the website hosting of the two (2) .PDF documents entitled TIPS and TIPS2.
Below are the Descriptions of TIPS and TIPS2:
TIPS: informal INMATE resource:
The TIPS document allow the inmates to better understand what they need to prepare for the Parole Hearing and what to expect from the Commissioners. The TIPS (2020 Edition, 49 pages).
TIPS is an easy to read document with a non-legalese approach to prepare the inmate on WHAT to expect during the Parole Suitability Hearing (BPH). TIPS also contains SAMPLE Questions from both the Commissioners (BOARD) and the Prison Psychologist. The NEW 2020 Edition contains more information on COVID19 Video Hearings as well as Youth and Elderly Parole hearings as well as existing new 2020 law: (i.e SB1437 Felony Murder and AB3234, new elderly law). There are now 17 (as of 2021) Commissioners appointed by the Governor who hear these Parole Hearings across all 35+ Prisons, where it is normally conducted. Soon to be increased in 2021-2022 by a two (2) more Commissioners to accommodate all the new Elderly Parole Hearings and Non-Violent 3rd strikers, among others.
We are including the Table of Contents below for your review.
Table of Contents (for TIPS)
I. INTRODUCTION 5
II. PART 1:THE PAROLE HEARING & CRIME 5
What about COVID19 and BPH Video hearings? 6
PRACTICAL TIPS: Do I speak about “the crime”? 7
What about INSIGHT? 9
Board of Parole Hearings Sample Questions 12
III. PART 2:POST CONVICTION FACTORS 15
IV. PART 3: PAROLE PLAN 16
Relapse Prevention Plan (RPP) 17
The 10 Most Common Relapse Triggers 18
V. POST-CONVICTION PROGRESS REPORT 19
VI. PSYCHOLOGICAL Evaluation (CRA) 19
Psychologist: Sample Questions 21
VII. USE OF CONFIDENTIAL FILES 24
VIII. LAWRENCE,SHAPUTIS I,SHAPUTIS II 25
A. In re Lawrence : 44 Cal. 4th 1181 (2008) 25
B. In re Shaputis: 44 Cal. 4th 1241 (2008) 26
C. In re Shaputis II 53 Cal.4th 192 (2011) 27
IX. LIFER LAWs (and other Laws) 28
A. Marsy’s Law (A.K.A. Prop 9) 28
B. Youth Offender Parole Hearings (SB260/261, AB1308, SB394) 29
C. Elderly Parole Hearing (60/25 And 50/20) 31
D. SB1437 (Felony Murder) & Prop 47 & Prop 57 33
…. Filing the Felony-Murder Petition 34
E. Administrative Review (AR) Of Hearings 36
X. THINGS TO REMEMBER 36
Is It Time To Appeal To The Court? 38
XI. HOW CAN FAMILY/FRIENDS SUPPORT ME 38
A1. Why/How To Write Support Letters? 39
A2. Parole Plan & Transitional Homes 40
A3. Where Do I Send The Support Letters? 41
A4. To Whom Do I Address The Support Letter? 41
A5. How To Write A Job Offer Letter? 42
A6. How Do I Get The Prison’s Address? 42
XII. GOT DENIED PAROLE - WHAT NEXT? 43
XIII. BLACK LIVES MATTER - LA DA ends Opposition to Parole Grants 45
A1. LA's New DA George Gascón Ushers In Sweeping Changes, Less Punitive Approach to Crime. 45
A2. Ending Use Of The 'Racist' Death Penalty 46
A3. Lifer Parole Hearing Impact: LA DA To Support A Grant 47
TIPS2: informal FAMILY resource (to help loved ones):
document allow the Family/Friends to send resources (e.g. correspondence classes addresses, etc.) to their LOs so they can better
prepare for their Parole Hearing and what to expect from the
Commissioners. The TIPS2 (2020 Edition, 59 pages).
From different engagements that we were invited to speak at --> one time or another, such as Families of the Incarcerated, among other venues, we received many questions from family members and friends. The recurring theme is always asking: “ What can we do to help our Loved Ones “LO”?”. We subsequently created a separate and informal document that we named TIPS2.
Subsequently with COVID19 and the Prison movement restrictions, inmates had little (or no) Group or individual self help classes available to increase their Rehabilitation. We enhanced TIPS2 so that Friends/Family (on the outside) can assist their LO, by providing them with the name of correspondence classes, Books to read for Book Reports, writing appropriate support letters, etc..
The Resource pages included in this Practical informal TIPS2 packet are from all different sources that our office as acquired over several years, to assist our Long Term Offender (and Lifers) clients. This packet contains several different topics; Book List, Book Report Sample, Correspondence classes address, Transitional Housing resources, CDCR Mental health system assistance for in-cell classes. It also contains courtesy Sample excerpts of the ECC, LSA, and POSSE newsletters; if you chose to subscribe to them for your Loved One, please contact the Newsletter staff directly. There is a separate CLN (older California Lifer Newsletter sample) that is now published by LSA; you can also request a Subscription for CLN. These Newsletters are published and mailed to the prisons; your LOs maybe familiar with them. We are including the Table of Contents below for your review.
Table of Contents (for TIPS2)
I. INTRODUCTION 4
II. Parole Hearing Guidelines 5
Apology Letter(s) 5
Relapse Prevention Plan (RPP) 6
The 10 Most Common Relapse Triggers 7
Board Of Parole Hearings - QUESTIONS 8
III. CALIFORNIA AVAILABLE NEWSLETTERS 11
A1. LSA NEWSLETTER - SAMPLE 11
A2. PLU MAX- POSSE NEWSLETTER - SAMPLE 20
A3. ECC NEWSLETTER - SAMPLE 23
A4. CLN CA LIFER NEWSLETTER [2017 Excerpts] 25
IV. Correspondence Self-Help classes 33
A1. PREP correspondence courses 33
A2. LSA correspondence courses 33
A3. MAX PLU - POSSE correspondence courses 35
A4. CDCR - Mental Health Delivery System (MHDS) 38
A5. CRIMINON correspondence courses 40
A6. FREE correspondence courses 43
V. BOOK LIST and BOOK REPORTS 45
Book List 45
Book Report - Sample 48
VI. Is It Time To Appeal To Court? 49
VII. SUPPORT LETTERS 50
A1. Why/How To Write Support Letters? 50
A2. Parole Plan & Transitional Homes 51
A3. Where Do I Send The Support Letters? 52
A4. To Whom Do I Address The Support Letter? 53
A5. How To Write A Job Offer Letter? 53
A6. How Do I Get The Prison’s Address? 54
VIII. GOT DENIED PAROLE - WHAT NEXT? 56
The Law Office of Diane Letarte has no affiliations with any of the Newsletters. We do not promote (or endorse) any one resource over another. Some have correspondence classes are Free and others have a small fee for their services. Some Newsletters may be available or not. It is up to the reader to to the foot work and contact the individual entities for the latest information.
Please pardon any inconsistent formats in our TIPS and TIPS2. TIPS2 was created (during COVID19 pandemic) to get information out to the inmates’ Families so they can assist their Loved Ones for their Parole Hearing; parts/sections were from different sources and formats. Keep in mind, this is intended to be an “informal practical TIPs” document. We have no Editor or Publisher. The Attorney and staff are working “on their own free time” to try to gather the information for the inmates and/or Families of the incarcerated.