New INcite Application: Presentence Investigation Report/Abstract of Judgment
October 31, 2011 by Mary L. DePrez
Following on the heels of the INcite Risk Assessment application, JTAC is developing a new INcite application that will incorporate the Presentence Investigation Report (PSI) and the Abstract of Judgment. We are working under the direction of the Records Management Committee, along with a sub-committee of judges, a circuit court clerk, and representatives with the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Public Defender Council, the Indiana Judicial Center and the Department of Correction (DOC) Originally, the sub-committee had intended to incorporate a standard sentencing order, but reconsidered this goal due to the complexity of many sentencing orders. The sub-committee determined that the sentencing order component will not be the primary focus of the initial release of the new INcite application.
The Judicial Conference of Indiana is charged with the development of a standard Presentence Investigation Report to be used by all courts in Indiana. [IC 11-13-1-8(b)(4)] The purpose of developing a standard PSI is to provide the judge with complete and consistent information about the case, enhancing the court’s ability to hand down an appropriate sentence. Once the sentence has been entered, the PSI becomes the cornerstone of a correctional plan. Information from the PSI, along with the risk assessment instrument provides some of the fundamental information used to identify criminogenic needs and developing individualized case plans for offenders sentenced to institutional or community supervision.
The implementation of the new PSI/Abstract of Judgment INcite application will solve three specific problem areas.
Probation officers do not have access to completed PSI reports on a statewide basis. They work independently from county to county when they prepare each PSI. Thus, one probation officer does not know if another probation department has already prepared a PSI for the same defendant or is in the process of preparing a new PSI for that defendant for a different criminal case. Although some officers do share PSI reports between departments or between counties, many do not. A great deal of research goes into each PSI report and often this research is done multiple times by multiple officers.
Frequently, the Department of Correction does not receive the information about an inmate in a timely manner from the courts. This information required by DOC includes the PSI, Sentencing Order and Abstract of Judgment following the sentencing hearing or a hearing on a revocation where the court has ordered a commitment of the defendant to the DOC. This delay prevents DOC from processing the defendant at intake, necessitating that DOC staff contact the courts and probation departments to track down the paperwork.
At times, the DOC has to seek additional information from the court because the Sentencing Order or the Abstract of Judgment is ambiguous or does not contain information required by DOC.
Automating the standard PSI form and making it available to all who need to work with it would solve each of the three problems described above. Thanks to the work of the Probation Officer Advisory Board and the Judicial Conference Board of Directors, a new PSI report has been approved and it will be incorporated into INcite. JTAC conducted testing of the first release containing the PSI functionality in October and anticipates the application will be ready for statewide deployment in November of 2011. The Judicial Conference Board of Directors will require all probation departments to utilize the new INcite PSI application when available.