New Zealand Law Society - Average prison sentence length increasing

Average prison sentence length increasing

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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)

Year Number sentenced Average sentence length in days
2008 8,132 454
2009 8,999 465
2010 8,921 466
2011 8,375 477
2012 7,902 507
2013 7,508 523
2014 7,530 522
2015 7,522 515
2016 8,402 509
Jan-June 2017 4,120 562
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