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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Crime and justice >> Most serious offence

MOST SERIOUS OFFENCE

At 30 June 2006, six offences accounted for 70% of sentenced prisoners: acts intended to cause injury (15%); sexual assault and related offences and unlawful entry with intent (both 12%); homicide and related offences, robbery/extortion and related offences, and illicit drug and related offences (all 10%) (table 13.28).

13.28 SENTENCED PRISONERS, By most serious offence - 30 June 2006

Males
Females
Persons

Homicide and related offences
1 917
150
2 067
Acts intended to cause injury
2 829
187
3 016
Sexual assault and related offences
2 494
20
2 514
Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
287
19
306
Abduction and related offences
137
9
146
Robbery, extortion and related offences
1 962
82
2 044
Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter
2 290
134
2 424
Theft and related offences
981
148
1 129
Deception and related offences
494
141
635
Illicit drug offences
1 863
193
2 056
Weapons and explosives offences
119
-
119
Property damage and environmental pollution
197
19
216
Public order offences
171
12
183
Road traffic and motor vehicle regulatory offences
1 256
58
1 314
Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations
1 709
174
1 883
Miscellaneous offences
136
15
151
Unknown
5
-
5
Total
18 847
1 361
20 208

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
Source: Prisoners in Australia (4517.0).


There were differences in nearly all the types of most serious offences for which men and women were imprisoned. Homicide and related offences were similar for both men and women (10% and 11% respectively). Men were more likely to be in prison for sexual assault and related offences and robbery, extortion and related offences than women (13% of men and 2% of women, and 10% of men and 6% of women respectively). Women were more likely to be in prison for deception and related offences (10% of women, 3% of men), and illicit drug offences (14% of women, 10% of men) (graph 13.29).

13.29 Sentenced prisoners, by selected most serious offence - 30 June 2006
Graph: 13.29 Sentenced prisoners, by selected most serious^offence—30 June 2006

13.30 Sentenced prisoners, by average sentence length(a) - 30 June 2006
Graph: 13.30 Sentenced prisoners, by average sentence^length(a)—30 June 2006


Sentence length

Aggregate length of sentence is a measure of the sentences imposed on an offender, sometimes taking multiple offences into account. Average sentence length excludes prisoners who receive an indeterminate type of sentence such as 'life' as well as sentences of periodic detention. At 30 June 2006, the average aggregate sentence length for all prisoners sentenced to a specific term was 59 months (graph 13.30).

The time a prisoner is expected to serve in custody depends upon the sentence originally handed down, the system of remissions and the forms of parole available. Taking into account the earliest dates for release of sentenced prisoners, the average expected time to serve at 30 June 2006 was 41.4 months.




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