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Under the old TDOC policy 511.01, an individual was allowed to have three (3) seventy-two (72)
hour furloughs if he/she was within ninety (90) days of their release date, be it by parole or expiration of
sentence ( in house policy stated forty-five days) to find employment or a place to reside. You could take
a furlough during a holiday period, and in some instances, it could be during a weekend.

Under the new policy, an individual can only take one (1) forty-eight (48) hour furlough between the
days of Tuesday and Thursday to find employment and/or a place to reside. You must be within thirty
(30) days of release, be it by parole or expiration of sentence, or have completed two-thirds (2/3) of an
approved pre-release program. (I do not know why the policy states that there will be no more furloughs
after you have secured a job and/or residence because the policy clearly states that you can get one (1).
You go figure it out...this is what it says.)

To sum it up, it appears that only those who have made parole, who are about to expire their
sentence, housed in a Community Service Center and/or are actively involved in a pre-release program
are eligible to take a furlough to find employment or housing.

Next, in order to take an emergency furlough due to death or critical/terminal illness in your immediate
family, you must be minimum trustee and within one year of your RED, or sentence expiration date, and
you must have been incarcerated at least one year on your current conviction. If you are minimum direct
and above, there will be no furlough.

Due to this 1996 law, there has been a fast decline in furloughs. The thing that they fail to mention is
that all the Community Service Centers have been closed down and the people there were the only ones
getting the furloughs. Now, you have men who have been locked up for a number of years that don't
have family out there to help them find jobs or a place to live. Therefore, parole is denied because of a
lack of home and job plan. Talk about a paradox. Due to more people being forced to flatten their
sentence because of this policy, inmates increase their chances of committing another crime to survive.
Wouldn't it be better to give a man a chance to find a job and a place to stay to reduce the chances of
being just another statistic?

The Lost Boy

Universal BPath Network