How to Write a Letter to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole

By Natalie Smith, Ph.D.
Those interested in the hearing can write to the parole board.

Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The State of Utah Board of Pardons and Parole was created by the Utah Constitution to allow convicted criminals to apply for parole (or, in some cases, a pardon), if the criminal has made significant changes to better his life. Board decisions cannot be appealed, but you may have reason to write to the Board. You may want to write if you're the victim of the convict whose sentence is up for review and you're against granting parole, or if you're the family of the convict and would like to plead for leniency.

Begin your letter by typing your address. Skip a line and type the date. Skip another line and type the contact person's name and title. Using the following three lines, type "State of Utah Board of Parole and Pardons, 448 E Winchester St # 300, Murray, UT 84107-8530." Skip another line, and type "Dear Mr./Ms. (last name)" followed by a colon. If you don't know the last name of the person who's in charge of the hearing, call and find out so you may address your letter directly to him. Letters addressed to a specific person are more likely to be read and considered.

Begin the letter by identifying yourself and your relation to the convict. Explain your purpose for writing. For example, "My name is Jennifer Smith and I am writing to urge you to deny parole to Bob Jones at his hearing on April 17, 2012. Bob Jones killed my sister while driving while intoxicated on February 10, 2007, and he should remain in prison."

Give detail to support your case. Why do you want the convict to stay in prison or be granted parole? Be specific. For instance, "Since she has started her sentence in September of 2002, my sister Julia has changed her life completely. She has successfully completed a drug and alcohol treatment program and has been clean for four years. Julia has also been taking online courses for college credit and wishes to become an accountant. I have complete confidence that she has turned her life around."

Thank the contact person for her time and provide your telephone number and email address in case the Board of Parole and Pardons wants to get in touch with you.

Close your letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three lines. Type your full name. Print the letter and sign above your typed name.

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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