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Presentence Investigation Report (PSI)(From Correctional Assessment, Casework, and Counseling, P 97-120, 2001, Anthony Walsh, -- See NCJ-192641)

NCJ Number
Anthony Walsh Ph.D.
Date Published
24 pages
This chapter focuses on the presentence investigation report (PSI).
The PSI is the end product of the correctional counselor’s interviews with the offender, victim, arresting police officers, and other interested parties. The document provides background information on the offender, potential for employment, the crime(s) involved, relevant circumstances associated with the crime, family data, evidence of prior record, marital status, and other relevant data such as results of psychological examinations. The PSI is used for judicial sentencing decisions, departmental and institutional classification, parole decisions, counseling plans, and community agency referrals. An actual PSI report is presented to illustrate its areas of content. The sample report includes the circumstances of the offense, the statement of the defendant, the statement of the victim, physical and mental health information, and an evaluative summary. The evaluative summary is the most challenging section of the presentence investigation report to write. The facts are summarized and conclusions are drawn from them. This section separates the true professional from the data gatherer. The tone of the report can convey impressions of the offender to the reader that may have a major impact on the offender’s future. Every effort to minimize any emotional feelings one has for or against the offenders and/or their behavior must be made. Most important is the evaluation of the offenders’ strengths and weaknesses, their patterns of criminal behavior, their potential for reform, and their amenability to various kinds of treatment and training. This requires a thorough knowledge of available community resources as well as of the offender. This knowledge serves as the basis for a treatment plan, which is the logical conclusion of the evaluative summary. In formulating a treatment plan, the threat the offender poses to the community must equal in consideration with the offender’s rehabilitative needs. The recommendation should flow logically from all the information preceding it and should be consistent with the legal requirement of the state. It should state concisely the number of years the offender is to spend in prison or on probation. 11 references