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4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2013   
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Contents >> Sentence length >> Custody in a correctional institution


CUSTODY IN A CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION

The length of sentences varies by court level. The Higher Courts generally process more serious cases than the Magistrates' and Children's Courts and longer custodial sentences are imposed. In 2011-12 in the Higher Courts, 36% of defendants with a principal sentence of custody in a correctional institution received a term of 3 years or more.

Graph Image for Defendants sentenced to custody in a correctional institution(a), Court level by sentence length, 2011-12(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes indeterminate sentences and life with a minimum. See Technical Note paragraphs 4–5. (b) Excludes the Tasmanian Higher Courts for which data are not available.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The median length of sentences for custody in a correctional institution was 24 months in the Higher Courts compared with 5 months in the Magistrates' and Children's Courts combined.

Principal proven offence

The principal proven offences associated with the longest median sentence length were homicide (76 months), sexual assault (24 months), robbery and extortion (24 months), and illicit drug offences (15 months). Excluded from this data are 44 defendants with a principal sentence of life or an indeterminate term in a correctional institution excluded from this analysis.

Graph Image for Defendants sentenced to a correctional institution(a), Sentence length for selected principal proven offence, 2011-12(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes indeterminate sentences and life with a minimum. See Technical Note paragraphs 4–5. (b) Excludes the Tasmanian Higher Courts for which data are not available.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



Defendants guilty of property damage, public order offences, and offences against justice received the shortest median sentence lengths in a correctional institution (all 3 months).

Age and sex

In 2011-12, the median sentence length for custody in a correctional institution was 9 months for defendants in the 50 to 54 years age group, and 6 months for the age groups between 20 and 49 years.

Of defendants with a principal sentence of custody in a correctional institution, 35% of males received a sentence length of one year or more compared with 26% of females. The median sentence length for custody in a correctional institution was 6 months for both males and females.


For more information, please refer to data cube SENTENCE LENGTH OVERVIEW.


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