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Crimes of Violence: Sentencing

Justice written question – answered on 18th June 2009.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Secretary of State

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length was of sentences (a) handed down to and (b) served by those who were convicted of (i) violence against the person, (ii) sexual offences and (iii) robbery in 2007.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The following table shows the average length of a determinate immediate custodial sentence for 2007.

Average length of immediate custodial sentence( 1) in months for 2007
Average length
Violence against the person 16.9
Sexual offences 42.9
Robbery 31.3
(1) Excludes life and indeterminate sentences.


1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.

2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.


OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

These figures can all be found in table 2.12 of Sentencing Statistics 2007 available at the following link:

It is not possible to provide data on time served for those prisoners convicted in 2007 because some will still be serving their sentences. If the offence was committed on or after 4 April 2005, release arrangements are covered by the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003, where either a standard determinate sentence, Extended Sentence for Public Protection or Imprisonment for Public Protection would apply. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 amended certain sentences from the CJA 2003. Life sentence prisoners are released under the terms of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997.

Average time served in prison for 2007 could be found in table 9.1 of Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007 available at the following link: probation.htm

These data are based on the principal offence. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence it is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed, where the same sentence has been imposed for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

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