The Council conducts targeted and bespoke data collections in magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court to gather detailed sentencing information to support guideline development and evaluation.

Sentencers are asked to complete a form (this may be paper or online, depending on the year of the data collection) for every adult offender whenever they are sentencing the offence, or set of offences, for which the Council wants to collect detailed data.

Some data collections take place in magistrates’ courts only, others are solely in the Crown Court, and some cover both. Sometimes these data collections will use a sample of courts but sometimes all courts will be targeted, depending on the offence.

The forms ask sentencers to provide detailed information regarding:

  • the culpability and harm factors they have taken into account
  • any aggravating and mitigating factors (including previous convictions) that the sentencer considered to be relevant to the final sentence, and
  • details about the final sentence imposed, including details of any guilty plea, where relevant

Where possible, we collect data both before and after a new guideline has come into force. We analyse data from these collections as part of our guideline assessments, to help us explore what might be influencing outcomes and to understand how the guideline has been implemented in practice.

We publish the underlying data from these collections so that users may conduct their own analysis: