Letters of Support Can Help Parole

Support Letters Can Aid Parole

Tims next parole date is June 26th, 2003. PLEASE HELP BY WRITING.

The following information is helpful to those who are interested in supporting efforts for parole by writing letters to the Board of Prison Terms. Life term inmates in the California prison system are encouraged by the Board of Prison Terms to provide evidence of support for their release on parole. One way to do this is to receive letters from people who can offer positive information supporting an inmate's release. There are no rules for support letters. These are only guidelines and suggestions. You must use what fits your own special situation. Do not be afraid to ask people to write letters. Many people care and want to help. Your request for help may give them a better understanding of the correctional process.

What Is A Letter Of Support?

Letters of support are evidence that the offender will have a network of friends and family to help upon his release. They show:

  • Somebody knows the inmate and cares;
  • The inmate has free world support and input while in prison;
  • He will have outside assistance when released from prison;
  • The good side of the inmate to help balance the bad side which appears in his criminal record.

Who Writes Support Letters?

  • Members of your immediate family, close friends, and loved ones;
  • Distant relatives, aunts, uncles, grandparents;
  • Respected members of the community, such as business men, past and prospective employers, ministers, school teachers, religious leaders, students, counselors, etc...;
  • The inmate's supervisors or other people who have known him while he has been in prison, e.g., chaplains, counselors, teachers and volunteers from the community;
  • Any person interested in the grant of parole to a prisoner may submit a statement of views in support of granting a parole. The Board, in deciding whether to release a person on parole, must review all information received from the public during the parole consideration process.
  • Any person interested in helping Tim Leon with his parole hearing that will take place in 2001.

What Should Support Letters Look Like?

Letters of support should have a good appearance. If possible, it should be typed and one page in length. If the letter is from a business or professional person, it should be written on letterhead stationery when possible. Keep sending support letters regularly and not just at the parole interview date. This shows consistency and active support and lets the Board know that you will stick by the inmate after release.

What To Say

There are several general areas of information to be included:

  • The inmate's name;
  • Your relationship to the inmate;
  • How long you have known the inmate or been concerned about his release;
  • Your believe that, despite his mistakes, he is a good person;
  • You may describe improvements in the inmate's attitude, behavior or efforts he has made to improve himself.
  • Whether or not you feel enough time has been served.

If you will be providing housing, give the address and phone number, if you have one. You can also mention other help you can provide such as clothing or transportation. If you are willing to help the prisoner in some other way, you may state so in your letter. Some are willing to help, but do not have money or a job to offer, they may offer to spend time with the offender doing something positive and worthwhile, or offer advice, counseling, encouragement, educational assistance, or opportunities in restorative justice...

Where to Send Support Letters

Tim Leon

C-29681, 3-103L

P.O. BOX 4000

Vacaville, CA 95696-4000-

or to

Governor Gray Davis

State Capitol Building

Sacramento CA 95814

Contact the Governor


See sample letters that have actually been sent in Tim Leon's defense

Tim Leon's Home Page

Tim Leon's E-mail address

Write to your representative in Congress

Write a letter to the editor

Contact the Attorney General for California