There are generally three main phases to defense based Sentencing Consultation: Investigation, Pre-Sentence Report and the Sentencing Hearing.

The investigation portion consists of extensive interviewing, thorough background inquiry and an assessment of findings, including the defendant’s social, family and criminal history.

Sentencing plans are carefully structured to treat, counsel and otherwise attempt to assist the offender in becoming a productive member of the community in which he or she lives. Defense based sentencing is also cognizant of the need to minimize danger to the community and offer restorative justice to any victims where possible.

Testimony highlights the mitigating factors and further discusses how the sentencing plan will provide a course of action that is more effective than long term incarceration.

People are always speculating:
Why am I as I am? To understand...any person, his whole life from birth must be reviewed. All our experiences fuse into our personalities. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”
— El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

Sentencing plans rely on existing community resources. This approach can offer the courts a cost-efficient way of sentencing offenders while reserving costly prison and jail facilities for those who must be incarcerated for the safety of the community.

A comprehensive sentencing plan has the potential to serve and benefit courts, clients and communities.