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The truth about adult offenders

Chart showing that in 2011, 57% of prison sentences given to adult offenders were for 6 months or less; 12% were between 6 and 12 months; 7% were between 12 and 18 months; 12% were between 1.5 and 3 years; and 12% were over 3 years

Being clear about sentencing – why people get the punishments they do – is a key part of understanding how the criminal justice system works. The purpose of this graph is to show the kinds of sentences given by the courts to individual adults.

Deciding on a level of sentence

Judges and magistrates must take account of the law and any sentencing guidelines when deciding on a sentence.

Once the judge or magistrate has decided on a type of sentence, they can adjust the level according to the specific circumstances of the crime. This could mean increasing or decreasing the amount of a fine for example, or the length of a prison sentence.

For community sentences it might be a combination of adjusting the length of the community sentence and the level of compensation.

More about how sentencing works...

Sentence levels by offence type

Find out the level of sentences judges have been giving to adult offenders in 2011. You can search by court and by offence type, and you will see a breakdown of the fines and prison sentences handed out.

Sentencing statistics for:2011
Offence: [ reset ]All offences
Police force: [ reset ]All forces
Court:All courts

Total sentenced: 

Breakdown of 'Level of fines' sentence amount:

Breakdown of 'Length of immediate custody' sentence duration:

About these statistics

These figures are based on experimental statistics released in May 2012 by the Ministry of Justice on the Justice website. Feedback can be emailed to the Ministry of Justice statistics enquiries mailbox.

The figures presented here are individual record level figures for adults sentenced in magistrates’ and Crown Court.

While every effort is made to ensure that the figures are accurate and complete please note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces - with the inevitable limitations that such data collection processes entail.


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