The Probation Officer prepares perhaps the most important document in the Federal criminal sentencing process: the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR). The PSR frequently provides the basis for important sentencing decisions made by the Court. Probation Officers function as independent fact finders for the Court as well as provide the Court with relevant, unbiased information. Moreover, since the advent of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Probation Officers have become known as “specialists” in the area of guideline sentencing.
Though the primary purpose of the PSR is to assist the Court in its sentencing function, the PSI is also a valuable resource to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Probation Office. The information contained in each section of the report provides these agencies with valuable intelligence which will assist them in their respective functions. Thus, the PSR contains complete, verified information regarding the defendant’s background, character, and conduct.
The Western District of Texas provides the Court with a comprehensive PSR in every case. Probation Officers in the Western District of Texas present a thorough personal profile of each defendant, recognizing that others rely upon that information to classify prisoners and supervise offenders. These goals are accomplished through the sustained efforts of the Probation Officers.