The Board of Pardon Advisors was created in 1893 (Senate Bill 19, 23rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session) to assist the governor with these executive clemency functions.The Board of Pardon Advisors was composed of two individuals chosen by the governor, who assisted him by reviewing applications and making recommendations for executive clemency.This law replaced the former parole laws and became the statute which governed parole actions.In 1957, the name of the Texas Prison Board was changed to the Texas Board of Corrections, and a Division for Parole Supervisors was established to open up district offices across the state to monitor parolees (House Bill 42, 55th Legislature, Regular Session).The Board of Corrections operated within the Texas Department of Corrections.In 1929, legislation (House Bill 20, 41st Legislature, 1st Called Session) changed the name of the Board of Pardon Advisors to the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP).The board received further assistance with its parole duties with the creation of the Texas Parole Commission in 1975 (Senate Bill 240, 64th Legislature, Regular Session).This commission was composed of six parole commissioners with decision-making authority in parole matters and was designated to assist the board with some parole functions.
The executive clemency process — pardoning convicts, giving executive paroles, granting furloughs, commuting sentences, etc.— was a function given to the governor under the Constitution of the State of Texas, Article IV, Section 11.
The board designated a member to serve as the Supervisor of Paroles, whose duties included compiling a list of all convicts eligible for parole, studying prisoners being considered for parole, securing employment (if possible) for parolees, and keeping a record of parolees.
The board also gathered information regarding the cases, kept pre-parole records, maintained a register of cases acted upon, and made recommendations to the governor regarding the disposition of clemency applications.
In 1947, the Adult Probation and Parole Law was enacted (House Bill 120, 50th Legislature, Regular Session).
This law authorized the BPP, with approval of the governor, to release any prisoners for parole or probation, with the exception of those under a death sentence.