Sometimes my clients get sick while serving their Texas felony prison sentences. Sometimes they are already sick and their condition worsens. Obviously, if we are fighting to get a client released to parole, his health can be an important factor for the Board to consider. Below I try to set out common issues that arise when advocating for a sick or physically compromised client.
TDCJ Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision
If a client is terminally ill, he may be eligible for special review and release to parole under TDCJ’s “MRIS” program (Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision). The requirements are strict. As a threshold issue, you have to be terminally ill, over the age of 65, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, require long term intensive medical care, have an organic brain syndrome, or be in a persistent vegetative state. Additionally, only inmates convicted of non-violent and non-sexually assaultive offenses can normally qualify (except that if an inmate is in a vegetative state he may be released under MRIS even if he was convicted of a sexual assault offense).