Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services


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TITLE: Psi Procedures


Upon Order of the Court, a Probation/Parole Officer (Presentence Investigator) will be assigned to conduct a Presentence Investigation in accordance with the Code of Iowa and District policy and procedures.


  1. Ordinarily, assignment of the Presentence Investigation to the Presentence Investigator will not occur until a written Order of the Court has been received by the District. However, upon advisement from other components of the criminal justice system (County Attorney, defense attorney, law enforcement/detention center or by direct contact with the defendant) that a Presentence Investigation has been ordered, the investigation may be initiated with the assigned Presentence Investigator or appropriate District personnel obtaining verification or a written Court Order as soon as possible.
    1. The Supervisor shall ensure the completed Pre Sentence Investigation report is received by the Court no later than three (3) working days prior to sentencing OR by the date specified on the Court Order if different than three (3) working days prior to sentencing. If no sentencing date was set by the Court, the Supervisor shall set a due date for receipt by the Court of ninety (90) days from the date of assignment.

      NOTE: Should the due date to the Court as specified on the Court Order be prior to three (3) days before sentencing or not allow for a complete investigation, the Pre Sentence Investigator may notify the Court to obtain an extension to the due date / continuance / seek another sentencing date.

      In addition, the three (3) days may be waived by the Probation/Parole Supervisor when investigations are ordered to be completed within a very short time to accommodate the Court, County Attorney, the attorney for the defendant and/or the defendant. In such situations, the Pre Sentence Investigator shall ensure all parties are aware the report will probably not be filed three (3) full working days before sentencing. In instances when the defendant has failed to cooperate in keeping appointments, thus making it impossible to complete and file the report on time, the Supervisor may waive the three (3) days if the Court, the County Attorney and/or the attorney for the defendant wish to retain the original sentencing date.

    2. If the defendant is determined to be a resident of another county within the District, another judicial district within the state, or another state, the Presentence Investigation Report preparation shall be transferred to the area of residency unless there are circumstances making it feasible and practical to conduct the investigation within the current jurisdiction. In most cases, a Supervisor shall be consulted. If the investigation needs to be transferred, the assigned Presentence Investigator shall assume responsibility for ensuring the completed Presentence Investigation Report is received by the Court no later than three (3) days prior to the sentencing date. Should it not be possible to meet the three (3) days, as required, the Presentence Investigator, after consulting with his/her Supervisor, shall notify the Court and obtain a continuance or seek another sentencing date.
    3. In making a transfer, as much information as possible (Trial Information, Minutes of Testimony, Court Order, Pre-Trial Information) should be obtained to send with the transfer request. Whenever possible, the Defendant shall be required to complete the Biographical Data Form prior to being allowed to return to his/her place of residence. A telephone call or e-mail message shall be sent to the receiving county within the District, other judicial district within the state, or other state to notify them of the transfer. The Cooperative Case Report shall be used for transfer of the Presentence Investigation to another state. Interstate Compact policies will apply.
  2. The Defendant shall be contacted promptly by telephone and/or mail to arrange a face-to-face interview. If not previously provided, the defendant shall be provided with a Biographical Data Form to complete. The Biographical Data Form will also be used as a guide in collecting the verifying information for the Presentence Investigation Report.

    NOTE: The face-to-face interview may be waived with the Supervisor's approval.

  3. A Victim Impact Statement, if one has not already been completed and is available to attach to the completed report, shall be sent or given to identified victim(s) for later inclusion in the Presentence Investigation Report. If additional information is needed from the defendant, the Victim Impact Statement may be sent after an interview with the defendant. A copy of the Victim Impact Statement shall be retained in the master file.

    NOTE: If the victim is a minor, the Victim Impact Statement shall be directed to a parent or guardian.

  4. At the beginning of the scheduled interview, the purpose of the Presentence Investigation Report shall be explained to the Defendant. The Presentence investigator may grant permission for other interested parties to be present, however, this is the Presentence investigator’s decision.
  5. Documentation shall be provided by the Defendant and/or through contact with employers, family, neighbors, treatment providers, criminal history records, Court documents, etc. Information provided by the Defendant shall be verified before it is made a part of the Presentence Investigation Report. Some of the verifying data required for the Presentence Investigation Report may be collected by nonprofessional staff (i.e., paraprofessional, volunteers, interns, and clerical staff). Verification documents shall be scanned as attachments to the PSI per ICON Business Rules. Other non-scannable information shall be maintained by the District’s clerical staff until requested by the case manager.
  6. If the Presentence investigator determines a mental, emotional, substance abuse, psychosexual or other type of assessment is necessary in order to provide appropriate information, the Presentence investigator shall approach the defendant to make a referral and/or, as necessary, obtain assistance from the Court, the County and/or defense attorneys, etc., to make it. An appropriate release of information shall be obtained. All interactions with the Defendant and/or others regarding the assessment and referral shall be documented and referenced in the report. The Supervisor shall be notified of the referral. If an investigation is being conducted for any type of sexual abuse offense, or the offender is required to register as a sex offender, the Presentence investigator shall require the defendant to complete a psychosexual assessment conducted by the District’s Sex Offender Unit or a referral source and/or any other such process as sponsored or approved by the Iowa Department of Corrections in order to obtain sexual history information. The assessment information thus obtained shall be included in the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report in the section entitled “Substance Abuse History/Mental Health.” All Sex Offenders shall be assessed by the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) with the following exceptions:
    1. If the offense was a forcible felony.
    2. Circumstances are such that the defendant is a candidate for hormonal therapy. (A referral will be made per the Hormonal Treatment Policy.)
    3. Upon review by SOTP, the defendant declines to be interviewed. As necessary, additional interviews may be scheduled with the Defendant.
  7. A rough draft of the Presentence Report shall be completed within a time frame that will allow for typing, review, further investigation, and/or any necessary changes or revisions, final preparation, signature of the Presentence Investigator preparing the report. The Presentence Report shall be submitted to the Supervisor for approval and signature two (2) days prior to the date the Court is to receive the report.
  8. If the Presentence Investigation Report was prepared for another office within the District, another judicial district Department of Correctional Services office within the state, or another state through Interstate Compact, the original Presentence Investigation Report shall be forwarded to the other office or to the Interstate Compact Office, with that office or the Interstate Compact Office then assuming responsibility for transmitting the Presentence Investigation Report to the sentencing Court in the period specified.
  9. The Presentence Investigation information will be entered into ICON per ICON Business Rules. Institutions within the Iowa Department of Corrections have access via ICON to all Presentence Investigation Reports in ICON. Submitted Presentence Investigation Reports are the completed reports that have been filed with the Court.
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