How To Protest Parole
1. When you receive the notice of the parole hearing for the offender in your case, first notify AGOVA, then contact the district attorney, the police officer or sheriff who investigated the crime, friends, and family members. Request that they write a protest letter to the parole board on your behalf. If you have been seen by a therapist/counselor, it would be beneficial for them to write a letter as well, noting how the crime affected your well-being.
2. The parole board welcomes petitions. Those who do not write a personal letter may be willing to sign a petition. At the top of the petition, reference the inmate's name and Alabama Institutional Serial or AIS number, give a brief summary of the crime stating when and where the crime occurred, and the victim's name. Make several copies and take the petitions to your work place, the work place of your spouse, parents, children, friends, etc., where you attend church, and any other places you feel appropriate. Have people sign their name and include their address. It is best not to mail the petitions, but bring them to the hearing.
3. IMPORTANT! The notice you receive states, "It is not required that you be present...." While it is not required and you may protest by writing a letter, it is not nearly as effective as being there in person.
4. Many hearings are scheduled each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting at 8:00 a.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; however, people start lining up as early as 6:30 a.m. The hearings are heard in the order that you sign in. Late registration means you will spend the better part of the day waiting for your hearing.
5. The hearings are informal. You will speak directly to the three parole board members. As a general rule, inmates are not allowed to attend their parole hearings. For exceptional cases, inmates on Work Release, Supervised Intensive Restitution, or Pre-Release Discretionary Leave may attend their hearing if they get special permission from the board. No sex offenders, under any circumstances, may attend their hearing.
6. This hearing may be a traumatic and anxious time for you. Many victims have expressed concern they forgot to tell the board everything they wanted to express. If you feel it will be difficult for you to remember everything, write it down in letter form so that you can read it to the board in the hearing. You can also give the letter to the parole board to be permanently placed in the inmate's file.
7. Inmates' files for the parole board are highly confidential and may only be viewed by the board members and their staff. Nothing in the folders will be revealed to any inmates, their families, their attorneys, or to any victims or the district attorney.
8. It is imperative you inform the parole board of any change of address or name change. Parole notification is not merely a courtesy, it is the law. Any changes to update the records, though, are the victim's responsibility.
9. The Board of Pardons and Parole does not have jurisdiction on where an inmate is incarcerated or what their classification (i.e. Work Release, Supervised Intensive Restitution, or Pre-Release Discretionary Leave) will be. Your concerns with regard to these matters should be addressed to the Department of Corrections at (334) 353-3870.
Remember, AGOVA is here for you and ready to help!