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Sentencing

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of the (a) sentence handed down to and (b) period served in custody prior to being released on home detention curfew was by each prisoner sentenced for (i) murder, (ii) manslaughter, (iii) violence, broken down by specific offence, (iv) sexual offences, (v) robbery, (vi) burglary, (vii) theft and handling, (viii) fraud and forgery and (vix) drugs offences was in each year since 1999. (250391)

The following tables show the average determinate sentence length for custodial sentences given in each year from 1999 to 2007 by offence group. These figures exclude those serving indeterminate sentences (which includes all those sentenced for murder). Prisoners serving indeterminate sentences are not eligible for HDC.

Details on the period served in custody prior to release on home detention curfew (HDC) could be provided only by examining individual prisoner records at disproportionate cost. However information is available on the number of prisoners released on HDC in each year from 1999 to 2007 by offence group, as shown in the following tables. These figures can be found in Prison Statistics England and Wales, 1999 to 2002 and Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2003 to 2007, copies of which can be found in the House of Commons Library, and also on the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonandprobation.htm.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

The most serious violent offenders and all sexual offenders are either statutorily excluded or are presumed unsuitable for release on HDC.

85 per cent. of those released have completed their period of HDC successfully. Only 4 per cent. of the total number of offenders released onto HDC over the entirety of the scheme has re-offended while on HDC.

Home Detention Curfew release by offence group1, 1999 to 2007, England and Wales

1999

2000

2001

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

49,596

14,939

30

55,344

15,533

28

54,064

13,677

25

Violence

6,788

2,577

38

7,875

2,990

38

8,121

2,854

35

Sexual offences

1,120

24

2

1,326

29

2

1,197

17

1

Robbery

1,740

598

34

2,057

689

33

2,146

631

29

Burglary

7,940

1,444

18

9,114

1,387

15

8,415

1,072

13

Theft and handling

9,335

2,004

21

11,623

2,009

17

11,293

1,771

16

Fraud and forgery

2,109

1,291

61

2,055

1,264

62

2,136

1,149

54

Drug offences

4,271

2,409

56

4,483

2,448

55

4,249

2,219

52

Motoring offences

7,851

1,919

24

9,070

1,748

19

9,512

1,500

16

Other2

8,442

2,673

32

7,741

2,969

38

6,995

2,464

35

200220032004

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

55,370

20,525

37

57,551

21,223

37

55,810

19,294

35

Violence

8,235

3,693

45

8,740

3,564

41

9,079

3,160

35

Sexual offences

1,193

20

2

1,238

8

1

1,160

6

1

Robbery

2,376

916

39

2,877

1,257

44

2,517

959

38

Burglary

8,577

2,022

24

8,310

2,066

25

7,044

1,672

24

Theft and handling

11,524

2,797

24

11,067

2,817

25

9,804

2,628

27

Fraud and forgery

2,159

1,262

59

2,210

1,133

51

2,468

1,225

50

Drug offences

4,323

2,683

62

4,397

2,782

63

3,989

2,422

61

Motoring offences

9,817

3,801

39

7,680

4,158

54

9,814

3,874

39

Other2

7,166

3,331

47

11,032

3,438

31

9,936

3,348

34

200520062007

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

54,616

17,296

32

52,987

13,666

26

53,835

11,428

21

Violence

10,064

3,204

32

9,840

2,490

25

10,397

2,118

20

Sexual offences

1,236

2

0

1,203

0

0

1,180

0

0

Robbery

2,451

901

37

2,284

709

31

2,520

694

28

Burglary

6,334

1,298

20

6,168

1,069

17

6,347

945

15

Theft and handling

8,846

2,107

24

8,679

1,705

20

8,227

1,380

17

Fraud and forgery

2,833

1,287

45

3,243

1,169

36

3,196

917

29

Drug offences

4,338

2,509

58

4,296

2,347

55

4,381

2,106

48

Motoring offences

8,517

3,046

36

6,984

1,923

28

5,569

1,290

23

Other2

9,997

2,942

29

10,290

2,254

22

12,018

1,978

16

1 Offence recorded on prison IT system. Investigations suggest that around 5 per cent. of offence types recorded on this system do not relate to the offence they were released on HDC for but relate to offences committed after release from prison and before the licence expiry date for their sentence.

2 Includes the offence of bigamy.

Average length of immediate custodial sentence1 at all courts by offence group, 1997 to 2007

Months

Violence against the person2

Sexual offences

Burglary

Robbery

Theft and handling stolen goods

Fraud and forgery

Criminal damage

Drug offences

Manslaughter

All ages

1999

15.0

37.5

15.7

35.7

4.5

8.5

15.5

28.7

59.0

2000

15.0

38.7

15.9

36.1

4.2

8.7

14.9

30.1

59.0

2001

15.9

37.7

16.6

35.4

4.2

8.6

15.9

32.5

58.4

2002

16.6

39.6

17.5

38.9

4.1

8.4

16.4

34.5

66.2

2003

18.0

40.0

17.1

39.3

4.2

8.7

16.5

35.2

62.8

2004

17.9

39.9

17.5

38.4

4.3

9.2

16.7

37.3

65.0

2005

17.1

41.5

17.4

35.0

4.3

10.3

15.1

35.8

55.8

2006

16.1

41.0

17.1

32.3

4.3

10.9

12.9

33.8

66.4

2007

16.2

42.9

16.7

31.3

4.1

10.0

12.6

31.9

61.6

1 Excludes life and indeterminate sentences.

2 Excluding manslaughter.