skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97865 Find in a Library
Title: Presentence Evaluations of Offenders Can Be More Responsive to the Needs of the Judiciary
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
General Government Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 43
Sponsoring Agency: Azimuth Inc.
Fairmont, WV 26554
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Sale Source: Azimuth Inc.
1000 Technology Drive, Suite 3120
Fairmont, WV 26554
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The General Accounting Office examined the offender presentencing observation and study process as it contributed to sentencing.
Abstract: GAO reviewed 157 cases studied by 7 Federal district courts and the D.C. Superior Court and 83 local studies ordered by district courts during fiscal 1981. It found that the Judicial Conference and the Federal Prison System have not established criteria for the selection of appropriate cases for observation and study. They have failed to develop and disseminate guidance on the types of questions that experts can be expected to answer. Finally, they have failed to establish a system to evaluate whether the studies have met the needs of the district courts. Despite urgings from the Judicial Conference and the Federal Prison System that study objectives and referral questions be included in cases committed for study, this was not done in 76 of the 157 cases. Further, 78 percent of all studies ordered in fiscal 1981 were the more costly and lengthier Federal studies rather than local studies. On the basis of these findings, GAO recommends that criteria for the selection of cases appropriate for study be developed. Guidance on the questions clinical experts can be expected to answer also should be developed and disseminated to district courts. Finally, a system of regular evaluation of the utility of such studies is needed. A series of letters commenting on this report is appended.
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Presentence studies; Sentencing recommendations
Note: Report to the Attorney General and the Director, Administrative office of the US Courts. Needs of the Judiciary
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.