Author Isabel Taussig
Published February 2011
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 66
Subject Assault; Prisons and prisoners; Sentencing
Keywords assault, prison, penalty, sentence length

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To describe the penalties imposed on convicted assault offenders


The most common penalty imposed on assault offenders is a bond but the likelihood of a prison sentence increases with both the seriousness of the assault and the number of prior convictions. Approximately 23 per cent of offenders convicted of a serious assault causing injury received a prison sentence, compared with 5.3 per cent of offenders convicted of a common assault. An assault offender with no prior convictions faces a 2.8 per cent chance of imprisonment. By contrast, an assault offender with four or more prior convictions faces a 42.9 per cent chance of imprisonment. Among those who received prison sentences, the average minimum term was 9 months and the average aggregate sentence was 15 months.

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