Chief of the Parole Division
It is the mission of the Parole Division to provide quality, zealous legal representation and advocacy to returning citizens in the District of Columbia who are facing a loss of liberty and extensions of their periods of supervision through revocation of their parole or supervised release for alleged violations of their conditions of release. Each year, we represent hundreds of individuals at administrative hearings before the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC). In some select cases, we also file direct administrative appeals on behalf of our clients to the USPC Appeals Unit.
Our goal is to secure guaranteed constitutional, statutory, and regulatory protections in every case and to minimize the impact of potentially harsh punitive sanctions. We also advocate for the Commission to expand the use of alternative sanctions other than incarceration, such as mental health, substance abuse treatment, and related diversion programs. In the furtherance of this mission, we also draft and propose statutory changes and amendments to the federal regulations which govern the revocation process. Moreover, the division provides advocacy on behalf of persons on supervision with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in the District and federal Probation Offices supervising returning citizens in other jurisdictions.
The Division also supports and trains other divisions within PDS on parole and supervised release matters, provides trainings to the local defense bar, and gives advice and assistance to the public and attorneys through our duty day program. We also train and consult with pro bono attorneys from area law firms and individual practitioners who occasionally are retained to provide representation at revocation hearings. We also train and supervise law students in criminal justice clinics at local area law schools, as well as train and supervise summer law clerks from law schools across the country who are accepted into the summer program through an application process. We are highly selective of our law clerks who have the unique opportunity to provide direct representation under the close supervision of a division attorney. Law clerks also have the exciting opportunity to develop litigation skills to include conducting skillful cross-examinations of adverse witnesses, doing direct examinations of voluntary witnesses, and presenting closing arguments on behalf of clients.