Crown Court Sentencing Survey final annual publication released

The Sentencing Council has published the final set of results from the Crown Court Sentencing Survey, which collected information on the factors taken into account by judges in working out the appropriate sentence for an offender and the final sentence given.
The results, which cover data gathered from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, show that:
– Judges are sentencing within the guidelines with very few sentences being below or above the guideline ranges;
– The more serious the offending, the more likely the offender will be jailed, and for longer;
– The more previous relevant convictions an offender has, the more likely they are to be jailed;
– The more aggravating factors an offence has, the more likely the offender is to be jailed;
– Almost three quarters of offenders pleaded guilty at the first reasonable opportunity and of these 89 per cent received the maximum reduction on their sentence as a result, in line with legal guidance.

The survey has been immensely valuable in gathering data to show how existing guidelines are used in practice and to inform the development of new guidelines and the Council is grateful to judges and court staff for their contribution. The wealth of data collected over the last four and a half years will continue to be used for further research and analysis.

Following a review of the Council’s analytical approach, the survey finished on the 31 March 2015 and will be replaced with a more targeted data collection in both the Crown Court and magistrates’ courts.

The publication can be accessed here