Official Government Website
Departments: Court Services

Investigations

Presentence Investigations:
Amber Hiland, Investigative Officer 
 – ahiland@dekalbcounty.org

Pre-Plea Investigations:
Michelle Lawson, Investigative Officer 
 – mlawson@dekalbcounty.org


Forms:


A Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) is a report prepared by a probation officer at the request of the Court. A PSI is court-ordered before sentencing when a defendant has been found guilty of a crime such as a felony or serious misdemeanor offense.  The purpose of the PSI is for the Court to have more detailed information on the defendant’s background and to have appropriate sentencing options for the disposition of the case.

An interview with the defendant is completed. During the interview, the probation officer will gather information regarding the defendant’s criminal history, including previous terms of community supervision or incarceration, past or present gang involvement, and history of violence and use of weapons; the defendant’s personal information, including family history, current residence, educational and employment histories, financial situation, and military history; and the defendant’s health information, including physical health, mental health, drug and/or alcohol addiction histories, and any previous treatment history.

Releases of information are signed to verify information such as employment, education, substance abuse, and mental health services.  The probation officer will assess the data they have collected to make specific recommendations as to the potential for rehabilitation, the risk to the community, and sentencing options available to the Court.


A Pre-Plea Investigation is ordered as a guide for the prosecution, defense, and the court as to what conditions and/or community-based services (if applicable) would be recommended for a defendant in the event of a finding of guilt. These investigations are conducted via a personal interview with the defendant and the report can include (but is not limited to) information such as: criminal background, family history, educational and employment history, psychological and medical history, and a description of the defendant’s past and/or current substance use. After completing the report, the investigating officer makes recommendations to the court using evidence-based assessment tools.

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