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Aggregate sentence length
Of all sentenced prisoners, 5% (1,130) were serving a life term or other indeterminate sentence. Just over one quarter (26% or 5,860) of sentenced prisoners had an aggregate sentence length imposed ranging from 2 years to less than 5 years, while 22% (5,011) had an aggregate sentence length of between 5 years and under 10 years. Approximately 33% (7,287) of prisoners had an aggregate sentence length of less than 2 years. Periodic detainees accounted for less than 1% (171) of all sentenced prisoners.
Excluding prisoners with indeterminate and periodic detention sentences, the median aggregate sentence length for sentenced prisoners was 3 years and 3 months (39 months) in 2011, an increase from 3 years (36 months) in 2010. For information about interpreting mean and median sentence length based on a census 'snapshot' see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 76-78.
The longest median aggregate sentence lengths at 30 June 2011 were for homicide (approximately 15 years or 180 months), miscellaneous offences (9 years or 108 months) and sexual assault (7 years or 84 months). (Table 2.9)
Expected time to serve
Expected time to serve takes into account the earliest date of release for sentenced prisoners. One quarter (25%) of sentenced prisoners (5,647) had an expected time to serve between 2 and less than 5 years, while 19% of prisoners (4,188) had an expected time to serve between 5 and under 15 years.
Excluding prisoners with indeterminate, life without a minimum, and periodic detention sentences, the median expected time to serve for sentenced prisoners at 30 June 2011 was 2 years (24 months), remaining unchanged since 2010.
The median expected time to serve was highest for the offence of homicide (11 years or 134 months), followed by miscellaneous offences (5.4 years or 65 months) and sexual assault (4.8 years or 57 months). (Refer to Appendix 1 and the Glossary for offences included in the miscellaneous offences). (Table 2.9)