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What can I do at my probation interview to get a good recommendation?


What can I do at my probation interview to get a good recommendation in my PSI or PSIR (Pre-sentence Investigation Report)?

  • Dress appropriately - Dressed as if you are going on a job interview. Never wear revealing clothing, jeans, shorts or other similar casual clothing.
  • Don't smoke prior to the interview - you do not want your breath to stink.
  • Don't drink alcohol or use drugs before the interview - seems like a no-brainer but you would be surprised! Probations officers are looking for signs of drug or alcohol use.
  • Be prepared - fill out all documents provided by the probation department prior to the interview. Write very clearly and get help from your lawyer if you have any questions.
  • Go well documented. Probation officers are over worked and under paid and they do not want to be running around trying to corroborate all the good things you tell them about yourself. Have documentation of education, work history, mental health or drug treatment history, community service, religious activities ands memberships, volunteerism, etc...
  • Community attestations - if you have family, friends or coworkers that are able to write letters of support for you, bring them to the probation interview. Make sure your lawyer gets a copy well in advance so that he or she can make any necessary suggestions.
  • Show remorse. If you are seeing a probation officer for a pre-sentence interview, chances are you've been convicted by trial or plea (guilty or no contest). The probation officer will positively consider genuine remorse.
  • Be respectful. Probation officers are used to being insulted and demeaned. Treat the probation officer as you would a potential employer during an interview for a job that you really want.
  • Don't push off blame on others. Taking responsibility doesn't work when you blame others at the same time. Don't say that someone else made you did it, that the police were lying, or that the drugs or poverty are to blame.
  • Be on time. Nothing blows a good first impression like being let to an interview. Be very early and just bring reading materials to keep yourself entertained while you wait for your appointment.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you should do well at the probation interview. Because each case is different, you should always take the time to speak to your lawyer before the interview to make sure you are handling everything just right.


Mr. Loren M. Dickstein, Esq.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
(248) 263-6800
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