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The federal criminal process has termed the presentence investigation report as the most important document. This paper will highlight the importance of the PSI as opposed to just reporting on the crime itself.
The next important thing in the criminal justice after one has been convicted is the PSI. The probation officer’s investigation will culminate with a PSI that the judge will consider when imposing sentence. The report also plays an important role in the offender’s life if the offender will serve a sentence in the BOP. Information in the PSI will help determine classify the offender through the criminal justice system. If the offender expects incarceration sentence, it is important to provide his/her background sentence. This is because the BOP will rely on the PSI report for initial classification, qualification to participate in BPO programs, access to lower bunk passes and visiting lists.
Sometimes a defendant may refuse to be interviewed by a probation officer. In a case like this, contact with family members may yield verification of some important information to the probation officers. The probation officer inquires about the defendant’s family and developmental history to help identify information that is relevant for understanding the defendant’s conduct and his/her present situation. The PSI report is to mainly to help the court determine the best sentence and due to the fact that the report frames factual and legal issues for sentencing.
Proper preparation of the PSI report will save time and increase efficiency mainly due to the fact that complexity of the case will depend on the nature of the offense and the defendant’s background. The report will also help in notifying the parties of disputes for two reasons; resolve disputes prior to sentencing and can be used by attorneys when the report is closed.