Administratively, Mr. O’Neil will request the records from the disciplinary hearing in order to determine what the hearing officer based his finding upon and: whether the evidence supports the hearing officer’s finding of guilt; whether the sentence imposed was both lawful and consistent with TDCJ’s own directives; and, whether there were any due process violations that might warrant relief. Mr. O’Neil will attempt to obtain any other information concerning the incident that may be available in TDCJ records; however, where TDCJ is not obligated to provide information, you can expect that at every step of the way the prison will do all they can to frustrate efforts in trying to locate the evidence to overturn a disciplinary case. In the case of major disciplinary cases, TDCJ is required to record the entire disciplinary hearing, and Mr. O’Neil is able to obtain a copy of that recording, as well as the TDCJ Disciplinary Report and Hearing Record (Form I-47MA). After reviewing the recording of the hearing, the I-47, other documentation available through administrative requests, the client’s input, TDCJ policies and directives related to disciplinary hearings, and applicable court opinions related to prison disciplinary cases, Mr. O’Neil will provide the client a written report of his findings.
In cases where an inmate received a major disciplinary case and was subsequently denied parole, the inmate will typically be entitled to what is called a Special Review if the disciplinary case is overturned. A Special Review involves the inmate, or their attorney, filing an application to have the Parole Board review the inmate for parole in light of the fact that the previous parole review considered erroneous information.