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NCJ Number: NCJ 184133     Find in a Library
Title: Utah Presentence Investigation Reports: User Group Perceptions of Quality and Effectiveness
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Michael D. Norman ; Robert C. Wadman
  Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:64  Issue:1  Dated:June 2000  Pages:7 to 12
Date Published: 06/2000
Page Count: 6
  Annotation: A survey conducted in April 1999 collected information on the attitudes of 227 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, and probation/parole officers regarding the quality and effectiveness of the pre-sentence investigation report in Utah.
Abstract: The 37 items on the questionnaire included 2 open-ended items, 1 multiple-choice item, and 34 closed-ended items that used a 4-point Likert Scale. Eighty percent of the participants were males between ages 31 and 50 years. Judges made up 22 percent of the participants, prosecutors 34 percent, public defenders 4 percent, and probation/parole officers 40 percent. Forty-five percent of the participants reported that they do not read the entire report and instead use some form of skimming and scanning to identify the sections they deemed most important. The sections ranked highest in importance by the user group members included factors related to the current offense, the offender’s culpability in the crime, the harm to the victim, and risk assessment characteristics such as gang affiliation and drug abuse problems. Thirty-five percent of the participants raised concerns about incorrect information in the report, particularly in the prior adult record section and in statements made by the defendant. Nevertheless, most participants indicated that the current report provided a fair, objective view of the defendant and the offense committed. Findings suggested three ways to improve the quality and usability of the reports. Tables and 10 references
Main Term(s): Court personnel attitudes
Index Term(s): Presentence studies ; Sentencing factors ; Utah
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Publisher URL: 
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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