The IPO Interview
In the parole review process, the Client does not meet face to face with the Board members or parole commissioners who will vote on his case. The Board votes the Client's case based on a review of the Client's Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) file. At some point in the parole review process, the Board will send a representative from the Institutional Parole Office (IPO) to interview the Client on his TDCJ unit. The IPO officer will ask the Client questions for the Board and record the Client's answers in his notes. These notes will be typed up and placed in the Client's TDCJ file. Once the notes are typed and the IPO has the Client's other records from the State of Texas and the county of his offense, the Client's TDCJ file will be forwarded to the Board that will vote on the Client's case.
The parole officer's interview with the Client is very important, and Mr. Karns encourages his Client's to be honest and forthcoming. The quickest way for a Client to make a bad impression with the Board is to play games, complain, blame others for his problems, or minimize the harm caused to others by his offense. Instead, if the Client is honest and admits his mistakes, his candor is likely to show that he has matured and is now taking responsibility for himself, something the Board is looking for from those it decides to release. In addition, it is important for the Client to express any remorse he has for the choices he made that led him to commit his offense and the harm or loss it caused others.
Mr. Karns recommends that his Clients keep a positive attitude throughout the interview, especially when describing the personal, educational, and vocational skills they learned while incarcerated. The Client should take this opportunity to emphasize the value of his rehabilitation and his commitment to it. The Client should also discuss his support system of family and friends, give examples of their support while he has been incarcerated, and how they will be available to support him if he is paroled.