Mandatory Sentencing Laws


MandatorySentencing Laws

Mandatorysentencing is a regulation established by a court of law stipulatingthe least number of years that an individual should spend behind thebars after committing a given crime. On the other hand, thepresentence investigation (PSI) is a report focusing on the positiveside of the offender. The investigation is conducted after anindividual has been convicted, but prior to the final judgment. A PSIreport provides a basis for reducing normal sentence that an offendercould serve in a correctional facility (Abadinsky, 2012). Theobjective of this essay is investigating how the mandatory sentencinglaws have influenced the PSI.

The1984 mandatory sentencing laws have affected the presentencinginvestigation policy by altering the previous content and layout ofthe regulation. Previously, a parole officer only focused on thepositive side of the offender in determining whether they were worthreceiving leniency. However, the law requires a PO to focus on thedetails concerning the actual crime an individual committed, as wellas their crime history. For example, the mandatory sentencingregulations states in California states that an individual who ispresently being convicted of a violent crime, and he or she has beenconvicted of two counts of violent crimes previously, the offendershould be jailed for a term of no less than twenty-five years(Haerens, 2010). In other states such as the New York, an offenderwould suffer similar consequences even if the two previousconvictions were not based on violent crimes. The mandatorysentencing regulations has changed the previous PSI reporting since aperson who has conducted a misdemeanor that could previously bepunished with fine or community service, might be forced to spend aminimum of stipulated years if the individuals have been convicted ofserious offences previously (Abadinsky, 2012).


Abadinsky,H. (2012). Probationand parole: Theory and practice (11th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Haerens,M. (2010). Mandatoryminimum sentencing.Detroit, [Mich.: Gale Cengage Learning.