HC Deb 10 March 1981 vol 1000 c279W
Mr. Nelson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average or median length of determinate prison sentences in 1960, 1970, 1979 and 1980.

Mr. Mayhew

The estimated average length of determinate sentences imposed on males aged 17 and over for their principal offence in the period 1969–79 is published in table 6.19 of"Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1979" (Cmnd. 8098); the corresponding average for all courts in 1960 was 10.4 months. However, the average does not show the variation that occurs and I also refer my hon. Friend to tables giving the distribution of the lengths of sentences (tables V, VII, and VIII of Cmnd. 1437 and tables 6.17 and 6.18 of Cmnd. 8098). Information for 1980 is not yet available and median values could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.