Pre-Sentence Investigation Law and Legal Definition

A pre-sentence investigation is governed by state and local laws, which vary by jurisdiction. It is designed to provide the sentencing court with succinct and precise information upon which to base a rational sentencing decision. They are typically performed by probation officers.

Generally, neither courts nor any other agency or organization shall prescribe or proscribe either directly or indirectly the content of the probation officer's analysis and recommendation. However, the court may recommend or order that additional information be included and analyzed in any particular case(s). Similarly, the court may recommend but not order that certain information be omitted from probation reports.