Compassionate Release

Compassionate release is a process by which the incarcerated may be eligible for immediate early release on grounds of "particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing".

General Rules

·The governor may grant a reprieve upon the written recommendation of a majority of the board as authorized by the Texas Constitution, Article IV, 11.

·A reprieve is not recommended as a matter of right and each request will be judged on the merits of the case and the security risk involved.

·Except at the request of the governor, the board will consider only such requests for reprieves as meet the general and specific criteria set out in these sections.

·The board will not consider a written application for a reprieve from a TDCJ-CID sentence that involves travel outside the State of Texas.

·board will not consider a written application for a reprieve from a TDCJ-CID sentence requested for business reasons.

·The board may recommend a reprieve either in the custody of a peace officer or without custody.

·The board will not recommend a reprieve without custody if the offender has a detainer filed against his release.

·Except as otherwise specified in these sections, a board recommendation for a reprieve shall be for a specified time, including a beginning and ending date.

·Upon expiration of the specified time of the reprieve, a person granted a reprieve that remains at large, is subject to arrest without further action of the board or the governor.

·The board will consider a written request for an extension of a reprieve only if the request meets the requirements for the original reprieve. (k) If at any time the board is made aware that the conditions of a reprieve have been violated, the board may recommend to the governor the revocation of such reprieve.

Reprieve for Family Emergency

·The board will consider a written application for reprieve for a family emergency only in cases of critical illness or death of a member of the offender's immediate family.

·The immediate family includes only the parents, spouse, and children of the offender, and a person other than a parent who assumed the responsibilities and acted as the parent of the offender during his/her childhood.

·Prior to consideration of the application for reprieve for family emergency, the board may require written:

·verification of the critical illness by the attending physician; or

·verification of the death and of the time and place of the funeral, by the mortician; and

·proof of the parent-child relationship if the request is for the illness or death of a person, not a parent, who acted as the offender's parent during his/her childhood.

·A board recommendation for reprieve in the continuous custody of a peace officer is contingent upon a verified arrangement by the offender's family to secure and pay the expense of a peace officer to guard the inmate.

“Everywhere and Nowhere: Compassionate Release in the States,” is a comprehensive, state-by-state report on the early-release programs available to prisoners struggling with certain extraordinary circumstances, such as a terminal or age-related illness."

"The report takes a deep dive into the regulations and requirements of these programs in each state, including the varying categories of release, eligibility criteria, and reporting. The analysis also reveals a troubling number of barriers faced by prisoners and their families when applying for early release."

Thank you FAMM for your work in this area!

Click the button below to access the list of reports.

MRIS Program

The Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI) provides pre-release screening and referral to aftercare treatment services for special needs offenders releasing from correctional settings, local jails, or other referral sources. TCOOMMI contracts with Local Mental Health Authorities across the state to provide continuity of care services for persons on probation or parole by linking them with community based interventions and support services.

•Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision

•Eligible offenders may be considered for early release who pose minimal public safety risk, from incarceration to more cost effective alternatives.

•Mental Health Continuity of Care*

•Adult Case Management

•Adult Continuity of Care

•Jail Diversion

•Juvenile Probation Case Management

•TJJD Continuity of Care Services

•Medical Continuity of Care

•TCOOMMI staff may secure resources in the community for releasing offenders identified for special needs referrals and services.

•Wrongfully Imprisoned Program

•Provides case management services and linkages to medical, dental and mental health services as well as transitional services for those persons released from TDCJ custody who have served all or part of a sentence and were subsequently granted an actual finding of innocence by the courts.

*During the 85th Legislature, SB 1326 required TCOOMMI to approve a form regarding mental illness assessment and written notification to the magistrate. Additionally, the 86th Legislature required changes to the form through HB 601. The updated form approved by TCOOMMI can be found here.

*During the 84th Legislature HB 1908 was passed which amended existing legislation regarding mental health continuity of care by adding delusional disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder as well as any other diagnosed severe and persistent mental health disorder as categories to be served, subject to available resources and the extent feasible.