Justice is not served when justice is wrong. This is true for people convicted of criminal offenses and the people who supervise them.

Texas parole officers have a responsibility to the people under their care. A parole officer ombudsman can help settle your complaints about your parole officer.

Your advocate

The quickest way to resolve an issue with a parole officer is through the parole department. That effort may fail. Or it may not be possible. That’s when a parole officer ombudsman can handle complaints from parolees. Make your complaints in writing.

Misconduct by a parole officer covers a wide range of allegations. It can be as simple as rude behavior or failure to fulfill their duties. It can be as serious as a case of physical or sexual abuse, which could end up in criminal court.

The job of ombudsmen is to find a resolution to your problem. They cannot overrule the decisions of other authorities. Some issues are outside the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Your role

You need evidence. Keep a detailed written account of your encounters with your parole officer. Record when and where you met and what you discussed. Be specific with your allegations of misconduct. Keep a record of all communication, including emails, with your parole officer. Follow meetings and conversations with emails recounting what happened. Get everything on the record.

Be as polite as possible toward your parole officer under all circumstances. Follow all of his or her instructions. Be on time for appointments. Never give him or her an excuse to make a complaint about your behavior. Anything negative that you say or do could come back to haunt you.

Your biggest obstacle

You are a convict. Your ombudsman is an officer of the law. If the odds seem stacked against you — well, they are.

But the parole officer has a duty to provide you with services. You can protect your rights every step of the way. A positive resolution is possible.