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Aggregate sentence length
Of all sentenced prisoners, 4% (1,009) were serving a life term or other indeterminate sentence. A quarter (25% or 5,682) of sentenced prisoners had an aggregate sentence length imposed in the range from 2 years to less than 5 years, while 21% (4,773) had an aggregate sentence length of between 5 years and under 10 years. Approximately 34% (7,850) had an aggregate sentence length of less than 2 years. Periodic detainees accounted for 4% (841) of all sentenced prisoners.
Excluding prisoners with indeterminate, life with a minimum and periodic detention sentences, the median aggregate sentence length for sentenced prisoners was unchanged from 2008 at 3 years (36 months). For information about interpreting mean and median sentence lengths based on a census 'snapshot' see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 71-73.
The longest median aggregate sentence lengths at 30 June 2009 were for homicide (15 years or 180 months), miscellaneous offences (8 years or 96 months) and sexual assault (6.5 years or 78 months).
Expected time to serve
Expected time to serve takes into account the earliest date of release for sentenced prisoners. Over 23% of sentenced prisoners (5,239) had an expected time to serve between 2 and under 5 years, while 20% of prisoners (4,671) had an expected time to serve greater than 5 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 2009 was 1.8 years (21 months), a decrease of less than a month from 2008.
The median expected time to serve was highest for the offence category of homicide (11.5 years or 138 months), followed by miscellaneous offences (5 years or 60 months) and sexual assault (4.5 years or 54 months).