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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91998 Find in a Library
Title: Profit in the Private Presentence Report
Author(s): C J Kulis
Corporate Author: US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: For various reasons, the preparation of presentence reports by private agencies for profit has emerged, but there are a number of reasons why this trend should be discouraged.
Abstract: The interest of the defense bar and the entrepreneurship of former probation officers has spawned the private presentence report and the profession of forensic criminologist. Three major reasons have been cited for the recent rise in private presentence report services: (1) budget cuts affecting probation departments' ability to formulate high quality reports, (2) overcrowded prisons which are forcing the criminal justice system to consider alternative sentencing for an ever increasing percentage of offenders, and (3) an alleged institutional bias by public probation officers, who are susceptible to public pressure for more jail sentences. There are a number of arguments that can be mounted against this trend, however. First, the private sector should have no role in the quasi-judicial sentencing process. To maintain the credibility of the presentence function for defendants, the public and police agencies, it should remain a governmental function. Second, the private presentence report's emphasis on 'individualized justice' tends to ignore needed reforms of the probation function within the criminal justice system. Third, private reports are not cost-effective, and fourth, the inevitable politicizing of the presentence process involves ethical issues tending to compromise the integrity of the forensic criminologist. Twenty-three references are provided.
Index Term(s): Presentence investigations; Presentence studies; Privatization
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