Did My PSI Accurately Reflect My History and Personality?

By · Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Although more than 21 years have passed since a US Probation Officer conducted my presentence investigation, I think he did a good job of reflecting who I was in the report I wrote. My probation officer was named Todd Sanders, and as I recall, he was not much older than I was. He asked my version of events, and I remember discussing the motivations and influences that led me into cocaine trafficking. I found the interview, which lasted a few hours, therapeutic.

To complete his investigation, Todd spoke with other people who knew me. He spoke with all of my family members, with teachers from my high school, with people I suggested he contact. The background work Todd did allowed him to write a report that was as even-handed as a defendant could expect.

I don’t know what level of influence the report had on my sentencing judge. Todd’s PSI report recommended a 15-year sentence. My judge imposed a 45-year sentence. He obviously thought I needed more time in prison.

I haven’t had any contact with the probation officer since he completed my PSI, though I think he wrote an accurate report. Defendants who want their PSI reports to reflect their personalities and histories well ought to assist the probation officer during the presentence investigation by providing as much personal information as possible.

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