Families want inmates who have made parole to be released

KFDA Video: Parole during COVID19

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As inmates in the Clements Unit make parole, many of them are stuck waiting to be transferred into parole programs.

NewsChannel 10′s Arianna Martinez spoke with one inmate’s family member who is very upset that her son made parole back in September of 2019, but has yet to be transferred into a parole program.

“Now, I can see if they didn’t make parole, that’s a different story. They didn’t make parole, so you’ve got to sit down and do a little more time, but when you made parole, why are they keeping them” said Sharon Alexander, mother of an inmate who made parole.

“Having made parole doesn’t really mean anything, I mean, as far as your release, so even before COVID, there are times when it could be months before an offender completes a program. It could be months before an offender gets into a program, depending upon the situation in the program,” said Jeremy Desel, director of communications for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Family members of inmates are left wondering why their loved ones can’t be released yet to do their parole programs from home.

“The world done changed now. With this virus, there are different ways of doing things. Those guys don’t have to be locked down. They can be confined to their home. We have internet, we have zoom,” said Alexander.

“Texas law requires those courses to be completed before release,” said Desel.

The Alexander family wants their loved one to come home while it has been confirmed by the TDCJ that at least 66 inmates in the Clements Unit have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I hope this will help everybody that’s going through what I am going through," said Alexander. "You know, we need to make a change.”

Those who were already transferred to the right location before the coronavirus are completing their course work in a distanced learning manner. Other are waiting to be transferred into various parole programs, since transfers are only being done when it is medically necessary due to COVID-19.

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