New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Average prison sentence length increasing

17 January 2018

Information released by Courts Minister Andrew Little shows that the average length of prison sentences imposed appears to have steadily increased over the period from 2008 to 2017.

Mr Little has provided the information in response to a written parliamentary question from National MP Amy Adams.

During the same time, the number of people sentenced to imprisonment appears to show a declining trend.

Mr Litte says the information counts an offender once per year for their most serious offence each year. Data for 2017 only includes the period from January to June.

Average length of prison sentences imposed by a court (calendar year) (excludes life imprisonment sentences)
YearNumber sentencedAverage sentence length in days
20088,132454
20098,999465
20108,921466
20118,375477
20127,902507
20137,508523
20147,530522
20157,522515
20168,402509
Jan-June 20174,120562

Last updated on the 16th September 2019