How sentences are determined for the tables
Multiple sentences may be imposed for the same charge. However, for the 'adults convicted' table, only the person's most serious sentence in that year is shown in the tables.
The most serious sentence for each charge is determined by its seriousness ranking. For example, imprisonment sentences are the highest rank, followed by home detention and other community sentences (e.g. community detention, intensive supervision, community work and supervision). Monetary sentences (reparation and fine) have a lower seriousness. A final protection order (Sentencing Act) has a higher rank than disqualification from driving, which is higher than order for forfeiture. Court costs and no sentence recorded have the lowest seriousness ranks.
A range of information is used to determine which charge is a person's most serious in a year. This includes charge outcome, sentence types, sentence length/amount, remands in custody, and bail and maximum offence penalties.
Effect on numbers of less serious sentence types
Care should be taken when using sentence information, as only the most serious sentence is shown. This means that sentence types usually used in combination with other more serious sentence types will be undercounted in these tables. For example, the number of people who receive a monetary sentence as their most serious sentence will be fewer than the number of people who receive a monetary sentence overall. In comparison, the number of people who receive an imprisonment sentence as their most serious sentence will equal the number who receive imprisonment overall.
The Sentencing Act 2002 and the Sentencing Amendment Act 2007 made a number of changes to the types of sentences available.
Note that statistics for some sentences may appear in the criminal conviction and sentencing tables before their relevant legislation came into effect. For example, community detention data is recorded from 2002 onwards, even though this sentence was introduced as a result of the Sentencing Amendment Act 2008. This happens because the recorded year is based on date of conviction, not the date of sentencing.
See Sentencing legislation for more information about legislative changes.
Sentence types in the tables
The sentence types shown in the criminal conviction and sentencing tables are as follows:
Imprisonment sentences – include life imprisonment, preventive detention, imprisonment.
Community sentences – include home detention (from 2007), community detention (from 2007), intensive supervision (from 2007), community work, and supervision (from 2007).
Monetary penalties – are fines or reparation.
Other – includes obsolete sentences that were abolished with the implementation of the Sentencing Act 2002 (such as borstal training, corrective training, detention centre, and suspended imprisonment). It also includes:
- orders for committal to a secure facility (under section 118 Criminal Justice Act 1984 (for 2003 and prior) or section 34 of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 (for 2004 and onwards)).
- order to come up for sentence if called upon (where a person is re-sentenced for an offence if subsequently convicted of a further offence within a fixed term).
- sentences disqualification from driving, alcohol interlock order and zero alcohol licence (from 2012), order for forfeiture (from 2004), instrument forfeiture (from 2010), confiscation of motor vehicle, and Final Protection Order (from 2010).
No sentence recorded – includes court costs and instances where a person has been convicted and discharged without any penalty being imposed (under section 20 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 or section 108 of the Sentencing Act 2002).