Presentence Investigation Report [PSIR] Law and Legal Definition

Pre-sentence Investigation Report (PSIR) is a report prepared by a court's probation officer on request by the court. It is the report of the investigation conducted to find out the history including the educational, criminal, family, and social background of a person convicted of a crime. It summarizes for a court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. Sentence of a convicted person is increased or decreased after examining the PSIR.

While preparing PSIR the probation officer reviews numerous documents such as court dockets, previous probation or parole records, investigative reports from numerous agencies, plea agreements, pretrial services records, medical records, scholastic records, employment records, counseling and substance abuse treatment records, and financial records. A probation officer while inquiring into the offender's criminal history depends on the database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI,) the National Crime Information Center (NCIC,) or state law enforcement agencies. Information can also be taken from the district court clerk's file.

Earlier according to Rule 32(c) Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a defendant could waive PSIR. But, later this provision was deleted by congress.

The probation officer must give the PSIR to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, and an attorney for the government at least 35 days before sentencing, unless the defendant waives this minimum period. Any objections, including objections to material information, sentencing guideline ranges, and policy statements contained in or omitted from the PSIR must be filed by the defendant within 14 days after receiving the PSIR. The defendant shall provide a copy of its objections to the opposing party and to the probation officer. After receiving objections, the probation officer may meet with the parties to discuss the objections. The probation officer may then investigate further and revise the PSIR accordingly. The probation officer shall submit to the court and to the parties the PSIR along with an addendum containing unresolved objections if any, the grounds for those objections, and the probation officer's comments on them at least 7 days before sentencing [USCS Fed Rules Crim Proc R 32].