Measuring Justice Served

As a 45-year-old man, I am coming to that fulcrum where I will have lived more of my life in prison than I lived in society. Truthfully, it feels to me as if I’ve always been in prison. I was 23 when my sentence began. The experiences I had prior to my confinement feel abstract, […]

My Reasons for Suggesting Defendants Learn More About PSI

A federal probation officer from Seattle conducted my Presentence Investigation Report after my arrest in 1987. I was 23-years-old then and I did not understand much about the criminal justice process. I knew that after a jury convicted me, I was facing a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The presentence investigation did […]

Suggestions to Improve The Presentence Investigation Process

I write from the perspective of man who has been incarcerated for longer than 21 years. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of other prisoners for the purposes of gathering information to write content that would help others understand prison, the people they hold, and strategies for growing through confinement. My work has convinced me that defendants […]

Do Other Prisoners Feel They Received Accurate PSI Reports?

As a long-term prisoner, I have adjusted by learning as much as I can about America’s prison system. Primarily, I gather my information by talking with other prisoners and listening to their experiences. For the past five years I’ve been confined in minimum-security camps. Prior to that, I walked inside the fences and walls of […]

I was not prepared for my Presentence Investigation

Prior to the day my probation officer came to visit me in the Pierce County Jail, I did not have any knowledge about the presentence investigation. Part of the reason for my ignorance, I think, was that I had dismissed the attorney who had represented me during my criminal trial after I was convicted. Most […]

Did My PSI Accurately Reflect My History and Personality?

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 […]

My Contact With the Probation Officer Who Prepared My PSI

I was locked in the Pierce County Jail when a guard called me out from my cell to meet with the probation officer. I had been arrested in August of 1987 for charges related to the distribution of cocaine, and I was held pending the outcome of my case. After a jury convicted me, the […]

Inmate Ignorance Regarding the Presentence Investigation

Through my work as a long-term prisoner, I’ve interviewed hundreds of other prisoners. I write what I’ve learned from them with hopes of offering information to help other prisoners prepare for successful journeys through confinement. One step in the criminal justice process that I think incoming prisoners need to know about concerns the Presentence Investigation […]

What I Knew About the Presentence Investigation Before Sentencing

I was 23-years-old when my troubles with the criminal justice system began. At the time, I had never been incarcerated and I certainly didn’t know much about how my Presentence Investigation Report would influence the sentence Judge Tanner would impose. All indications I had received from my lawyer were that Judge Tanner handed down tough […]

How the Presentence Investigation Report Influenced My Sentence

In 1987 I was arrested for leading a group that trafficked in cocaine. After a jury convicted me on all criminal charges, I participated in a presentence investigation with a US Probation Officer. I was confined in Tacoma’s Pierce County Jail at the time of my presentence investigation. My participation in the process was limited […]