Council Releases Sentencing Snapshots for Five Serious Drug Offences and Incest

Date of Publication
18 August 2020

The Council has released new Sentencing Snapshots for six offences sentenced in the Victorian County and Supreme Courts:

  • incest
  • trafficking in a non-commercial quantity of drugs
  • trafficking in a commercial quantity of drugs
  • trafficking in a large commercial quantity of drugs
  • cultivating a non-commercial quantity of narcotic plants
  • cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotic plants.

The new Snapshots report on sentencing trends for the five years to 30 June 2019. They present data on the type and length of sentences imposed for the principal offence (the most serious offence in a case).

Key Findings from the Snapshots

There was a decreasing trend in the number of people sentenced for incest and cultivating a non-commercial quantity of narcotic plants.

Custodial sentences, as a proportion of all sentences, generally increased for trafficking in a non-commercial quantity of drugs, cultivating a non-commercial quantity of narcotic plants and cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotic plants.

The percentage of people who received a sentence of imprisonment was highest for:

  • trafficking in a large commercial quantity of drugs (100.0%)
  • incest (95.6%)
  • trafficking in a commercial quantity of drugs (93.0%)
  • cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotic plants (92.4%).

Of the six offences, trafficking in a large commercial quantity of drugs had the highest median principal imprisonment length (7 years), that is, half of the imprisonment lengths were below 7 years and half were above. Incest had the next highest median principal imprisonment length at 5 years.

The average prison sentence was highest in 2018–19 for four of the six offences:

  • trafficking in a large commercial quantity of drugs (8 years and 4 months)
  • incest (6 years and 6 months)
  • trafficking in a commercial quantity of drugs (4 years and 2 months)
  • cultivating a non-commercial quantity of narcotic plants (1 year and 6 months).

Over the five years, there was a general decline in the use of community correction orders to sentence three of the six offences: trafficking in a non-commercial quantity of drugs, cultivating a non-commercial quantity of narcotic plants and cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotic plants.

The new Sentencing Snapshots are available for download from our website.