What is The Presentence Report – A Medical, Medication, and Security Requirement Referral

I) The Presentence Report (PSR) is the defendant’s court’s background intake document.

  • Judges use it to determine the length of a sentence.
  • The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) uses it for prison placement.
  • Don’t overstate or hide medical and/or mental healthcare issues from the PSR and Probation Officer, why:
    • If it is not included within the PSR – it will definitely not be provided.
  • The Presentence Report (PSR) also influences the defendant’s prison placement according to the BOP Medical CARE LEVEL I-IV structure.

II) Prescriptions should be included in the PSR, but how do you determine availability?

  • On formulary (available for use), or
  • Non-formulary, these could be brought to the court’s attention at the sentencing hearing as these medications require a lengthy formal request process.
  • Or just not available, in which case they may be able to provide a similar medication.

Recidivism

Currently, there is no attempt to address recidivism through the PSR. This could be accomplished by recommending placement to a facility that would match with the defendant’s interest in either higher education (college) or learning a specific occupation or trade. All of this in an effort to interrupt the ‘revolving door’ re-incarceration paradigm.

‘Felony’ which appears on most job applications prohibits the offender from reentering the job pool before they ever get the opportunity to appear for an interview.

This remaining, albeit significant challenge, is a political one; that being the removal of the word ‘felony’ (in certain cases) from a defendant’s record. Nationwide, for both state and federal cases a starting point could be:

  • Non-violent offenses
  • 7- 10 years from the charged offense – without other charges, background checks can either be removed or at minimum designated as completed or ‘not to be used as a negative in a background check’.
  • If this is not done and the released defendant cannot find work; they do not have many if any choices, leading to despair.

 

The PSR