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Sentencing

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of all prison sentences handed down in each year since 1997 were for six months or less. (264717)

The available information is shown in the table.

These figures can also be found on table 2.3 of the 2007 annual sentencing statistics bulletin published by the Ministry of Justice in 2008 and available on:

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

Number of persons issued with immediate custody of six months or less, 1997 to 2007

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Immediate custody of six months or less

57,271

63,741

69,262

70,099

69,914

71,961

70,252

68,199

63,856

59,134

57,536

All immediate custody

93,841

100,566

105,323

106,187

106,273

111,607

107,670

106,322

101,236

96,017

95,206

Proportion (of all immediate custody) (percentage)

61.0

63.4

65.8

66.0

65.8

64.5

65.2

64.1

63.1

61.6

60.4

Notes:

1. The statistics given are on a principal offence basis. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

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

3. 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.

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice