Purpose and Procedure
The Presentence Investigation
One of the topics reviewed in this module is the development and purpose of a PSI report in many criminal justice systems. Most long-form PSIs contain at least six main sections, which are as follows:
- Part A – A description of the offense
- Part B – The defendant’s criminal history (broken down into juvenile and adult)
- Part C – Offender characteristics—includes subsections of personal and family data; physical condition; mental and emotional health; substance abuse; educational, vocational, and special skills; employment; and financial condition
- Part D – Sentencing options
- Part E – Circumstances for departure
- Part F – Variance
This organizational structure highlights the critical components of a PSI. It also offers a good overview of the functions of a PSI.
Click here to read a sample PSI report.
On the basis of what you’ve learned in this module and using specific examples from the PSI (read the sample PSI), prepare a 4- to 5-page paper to address the following:
- How does a PSI help the court to determine an appropriate sentencing decision?
- How does a PSI impact possible probation and parole decisions?
- How does a PSI help the court determine the sentence length and make recommendations for institutional placement?
- How does a PSI help the criminal justice system make informed decisions regarding probation or parole supervision?
- How might a PSI help the criminal justice system with treatment recommendations?
- How does a PSI assist corrections personnel in:
- Offender classification
- Offender management
- Treatment options
- Release planning
- How does a PSI assist the defendant and defense counsel?
Be sure to support your position with specific examples and to include information from each of the six parts of the PSI.