The Importance of Accuracy in Your Presentence Investigation Report

The presentence investigation report, also known as a PSI or a presentence report (PSR), is frequently described as being the most important document in the federal criminal legal process. If you are convicted of a felony in federal court – through either a guilty plea or a trial verdict, the judge will order probation to prepare a presentence investigation report.  Most states have a very similar process.

This report is very important not just because the court will consider the report for sentencing, but also because it will greatly affect your life during your time in prison. When you are getting ready for a presentencing report, make sure that you are working with a prison and sentencing consulting, research and investigation firm.

The primary purpose of the report will be to provide information that allows a court to impose a fair sentence satisfying the punishment, deterrence, and corrective goals of sentencing. What it does is provide an insight into the person and help the judge, probation, and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), among others, evaluate you.  If you are facing federal charges, you need to prepare as early as possible for the PSI and the best way to do that is with assistance from a prison consulting firm and your attorney.

Probation prepares the report that contains information about the offense, the impact that an offense has on any victims, your physical, mental and emotional condition, and a history of substance abuse and criminal history. The report then goes through the applicable sentencing options under the federal sentencing guidelines, as well as information about a defendant’s ability to pay any fines. 

Presentence Report Contents

A presentencing report begins with a detailed account of the criminal charges against you and usually provides a detailed account of the procedural history of your case while also including an evaluation of the statement of facts as offered in your plea agreement. The report will discuss all the charges brought against you and detail the offense for which you are jailed. 

The report will also include a victim impact report as well as other adjustments that can affect the sentencing guidelines determinations. You need to review the information in this section, and all sections, of the report to ensure it is relevant and accurate.

One of the components of the presentencing report involves being interviewed by a federal probation officer.  You will be interviewed in preparation for the sentencing hearing after a defendant has been found guilty or entered into a plea agreement. The details you provide during your presentence interview can have a very lasting effect. Again, preparation is key and transformative to your life in the legal system going forward.

It is critical for a defendant to be prepared. Thoroughly preparing yourself for the PSR and correcting any mistakes before sentencing can help you receive a more lenient sentence.

During a presentencing interview, the presentencing officer compiles a narrative of your personal life, family history, and medical history. The personal history should offer a detailed perspective of your childhood, the environment and home life experienced during your foundational years, and the successes, failures, and any traumas throughout your life. 

For the Bureau of Prisons, a presentencing report is the authority on many matters concerning a defendant and has lasting implications well beyond sentencing. When a defendant is in custody, only what is written in a presentencing report will be known, and any information they failed to include is not considered.

A presentencing report is especially important for matters concerning medical conditions, family relationships, and financial conditions. Information included in a presentencing report will require verification. 

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Prison and Sentencing Consulting, Research and Investigation Firm

Are you preparing for a presentencing report before serving time in a state or federal prison? Make sure you speak to Liberty Advisors LLC about preparing for this important background investigation and interview.

Our team understands how critical this process can be for securing lenient sentences and also securing important medical care, so we can help you prepare and be ready to provide all of the relevant information during your interview. You can call (917) 540-6192 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation that will let us dig into the details of your case and outline all of the options you have.


Our Services


Liberty Approach

What to expect from prison consultants?

Download Our One
Page Presentation

“The Liberty Approach”