September 5, 2013
Presentence investigation (PSI) is a research which is carried out by probation officer or court services before sentencing which entail prior criminal record, unemployment, education and any other information concerning a person convicted for a felony to establish if there are extenuating situations which should remodel the verdict or a history of unlawful behavior to raise the severity of the verdict (Maveal, 1995).
The purpose of PSI report is to assist the court in determining a suitable sentence. In addition, presentence report serves in framing realistic and legal issues for sentencing. If the person is incarcerated, the States Department of Corrections or the Bureau of Prisons uses presentence investigation information to determine to where the offender will be jailed and establish his or her eligibility for specific correctional programs. Depending on the jurisdiction, PSI report can help in calculating the inmate`s release date (Maveal, 1995). The report can also be useful for the probation officer responsible for the offender`s case during both the probation and supervised release in making an initial assessment on the case. Furthermore, the information of the report may be used for future research.
Presentence investigation consists of information such as past criminal convictions, description of the felony, occupational background and work history of the defendant, harm caused to the victim, educational background of the defendant, marital and financial statuses, as well as the length of habitation in the community, victim`s and defendant`s statements, applicable sentencing procedures, evaluation of the defendant`s possible adjustment in the society based on factual information in the statement and sentencing recommendations (Alarid, 2013).
PSI is collected by conducting an interview with the defendant, reviewing of certain facts regarding the crime and reviewing the defendant`s criminal record (Alarid, 2013).
Alarid, L. (2013). Community-based corrections. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Maveal, G.M. (1995). Federal Presentence Reports: Multi-Tasking at Sentencing, Seton Hall L. Rev.