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NCJ Number: 161208 Find in a Library
Title: Maintaining the Myth of Individualized Justice (From Administration and Management of Criminal Justice Organizations: A Book of Readings, Second Edition, P 420-438, 1994, Stan Stojkovic, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-161200)
Author(s): J Rosecrance
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of processes used by probation investigators to prepare presentence reports indicated that probation officers tended to de-emphasize individual defendant characteristics and that probation recommendations were not directly influenced by such factors as sex, age, race, socioeconomic status, and work record; instead, probation officers seemed to emphasize such variables as current offense and prior criminal record.
Abstract: Data were obtained from interviews with probation officers during two 3-week periods in 1984 and 1985 in two medium-sized California counties. Both jurisdictions were governed by State determinate sentencing policies. In each jurisdiction, the district attorney's office remained active during sentencing and generally offered specific recommendations. It was found that probation officers used current offense and prior criminal record as guidelines to classify defendants early in the investigation. When the classification process was complete, probation officers had essentially decided on the sentence recommendation. The type of information contained in the final presentence report was generated to support the original sentence recommendation decision. The presentence interview did not significantly alter probation officer perceptions. Implications of the findings for probation officer autonomy and the efficacy of existing and the efficacy of existing presentence investigation practices are discussed. 51 references and 7 footnotes
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): California; Offender classification; Presentence investigations; Presentence studies; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Probation or parole officers; Sentence effectiveness; Sentencing recommendations
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