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The Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI/PSR): What You Need to Know!
The Pre-Sentence Investigation Report is the most important document in determining a defendant’s sentence. If it is inaccurate or incomplete the defendant is headed for trouble. If you think a PSI is impartial and fair, you are grossly mistaken!
By: Robin Stover, Prison Consulting Group
The Pre-Sentence Investigation Report is written by a Probation Officer who works for the Federal Government. Need I say more? How can a defendant expect to get a fair and unbiased accounting by an employee of an agency who is trying to put him in prison? Many times the PSR is slanted against the defendant in favor of the government and the prosecution. Fortunately, the defendant and his attorney receive a copy of the initial PSR and can proffer objections to any part of the PSR that they feel is not accurate or misstated. It is not only the obligation of the defendant and his attorney to make sure that any mistakes, inaccuracies, and untruths are corrected, it is their duty. All of these corrections must be completed prior to the PSR’s final submission to the Court and the Bureau of Prisons.
Unfortunately, many attorneys do not take the time or energy to provide the scrutiny necessary to fully correct a defendant’s PSR. They are mainly concerned with the sentencing guidelines, upward and downward departures, acceptance of responsibility, and those factors contributing to the gross sentence. The gross sentence is the sentence handed down by the judge at sentencing. In actuality, the attorney should also be concerned with those factors that determine which facility the defendant is designated to, his security and custody level, his eligibility to self-surrender, and judicial recommendations that are so important to the defendant. Without a doubt the most important factor overlooked or misunderstood by most attorneys are program eligibility factors that may reduce the length of time of the defendant’s gross sentence to a much shorter net sentence. The RDAP program may reduce an inmate’s gross federal prison incarceration by up to eighteen (18) months if the defendant/inmate is eligible and positioned properly. Robin Stover explained, This net sentence is the sentence handed down by the judge minus the reduction of time obtained by the inmate for graduating from the RDAP program. It is a very desirable and sought after program.
"The solution to this dilemma", states Stover "is for the defendant to hire someone who is very knowledgeable in Federal Prison issues, programs, policies, procedures, and who has actually experienced life in a federal prison."Stover states that the defendant should hire someone who has actually gone through the whole process. This is someone who knows the “ins” and “outs” of the federal prison system. The solution is to hire a competent, experienced, and knowledgeable Federal Prison Consultant. A competent Federal Prison Consultant will prepare the defendant for the all important Pre-Sentencing Investigation Interview and even accompany him if his attorney cannot. It is vitally important that the defendant does not go alone to this interview.
The consultant must be experienced, straightforward, and have complete control of the facts. He needs to counsel the defendant as to what questions the Probation Officer will ask. The Probation Officer will ask for personal information including the defendant’s full name, social security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, family history, medical history, and educational history. He will ask about his professional associations, physical and mental well being and substance abuse history detailing drug and alcohol use. He will ask about his current offense and will verify everything that he is told. He will investigate any previous criminal history, DUI's, and even speeding tickets. He will talk to the defendant’s immediate family including his mother and father. He will review relationships with therapists, physicians, and financial associates. He will provide forms for current financial information including all assets, bank and savings accounts, brokerage accounts, property owned, cars driven, IRA's, 401-K's, business ownership information, and business partners among other things.
A good Federal Prison Consultant, such as Robin Stover of the Prison Consulting Group, knows the information that the probation officer will request. Every PSI interview, regardless of the federal district in which it is conducted, follows a very similar pattern and direction. The information requested is always the same. The Prison Consulting Group prepares their clients for this very important interview. They know what will be asked and they prepare their clients for those questions. The information that is given to the U.S. Probation Officer must be complete, truthful, and factual. Knowing in advance the questions you will be asked allows you to prepare complete, truthful, and factual answers. There are no surprises.
Robin Stover ended by saying, "Life in a federal prison isn’t easy. There is no reason to make it harder by allowing an inaccurate, incomplete, biased, and slanted Pre-Sentence Investigation Report to be submitted to the Sentencing Judge and the Bureau of Prisons. Call a Federal Prison Consultant, you deserve better!
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Robin Stover is a nationally recognized Federal Prison Consultant and the founder of the Prison Consulting Group (PCG). As a Federal Prison Consultant with PCG, Robin is recognized as an authority in pre-and post-conviction strategy, positioning, preparation, and education. Robin is knowledgeable in all facets of federal prison life and with the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) rules, regulations, and program statements.
PCG prepares clients for admission to the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program which offers up to a 12 month sentence reduction and a 6 month halfway house designation. We also provide assistance with designations, judicial recommendations, transfers, furloughs, A R Appeals, Second Chance Act submissions, MINT program requests, restitution, ICE issues, and the BOP's Compassionate Release and Commutation of Sentence Program.
Prison Consulting Group offers the prison preparation course titled, "How to Survive Federal Prison", go to http://prisonconsultinggroup.com.
Page Updated Last on: Jan 09, 2010