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
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