SACStat Instruction Manual

Refer also to our Glossary, Methodology and How to Use SACStat page.

Sentencing Advisory Council Statistics Online (SACStat) presents data on sentences imposed on offenders by the Magistrates' Court, County Court and Supreme Court of Victoria.

SACStat presents data in aggregate form on the sentences imposed for both charges and cases relating to an offence. A charge is a single proven count of an offence, and a case is a collection of one or more charges against a person sentenced at the one hearing. Sentencing data relating to cases is also presented according to the age and gender of the offender sentenced in the case.

SACStat presents data separately for the higher courts (Supreme and County Courts of Victoria and the Court of Appeal) and the Magistrates' Court.

Higher courts data is presented for  just over 200 different offences sentenced during a five-year reference period. To be included in the higher courts data, an offence must have had at least 10 charges sentenced in the higher courts over the reference period.

Magistrates' Court data are presented for around 500 different offences sentenced during a three-year reference period. To be included in the Magistrates' Court data, an offence must have had at least 40 charges sentenced in the Magistrates' Court over the reference period.

How to Find an Offence

You can find a higher courts offence by using the Higher Courts Legislation Index or the Higher Courts Offence Search. You can find a Magistrates' Court offence using the Magistrates' Court Legislation Index or the Magistrates' Court Offence Search. The indexes and search pages can be accessed from the main menu at the top of each page and from the SACStat homepage.

Each legislation index presents an offence under its Act of Parliament. Acts are listed in alphabetical order under the A to Z tabs near the top of the page. Common law offences are listed under the ‘C' tab. Offences under each Act are ordered according to the section of the Act.

Offence search allows you to search the offences listed in the legislation index. In the ‘Search by offence name' box, enter all or part of the name of the offence that you are interested in (you will need to use the correct spelling) and click the Search button. This will return a list of all offences matching your search. If a search query fails to return a match, check your spelling or try typing in part of a word (e.g. ‘caus' for ‘causing' or ‘cause'). Boolean operators such as AND, OR, NOT or NEAR are not supported.

Clicking on an offence name in the legislation index or in the search results takes you to the sentencing statistics for that offence.

If you are unable to find an offence, it may be that there weren't at least 40 charges of the offence sentenced in the Magistrates' Court or at least 10 offences sentenced in the higher courts during the reference periods.

Higher Courts Graphs

Higher courts sentencing data is grouped under four tabs for each offence:

  • Sentence Type (Cases)
  • Sentence Length (Cases)
  • Sentencing Outcomes (Charges)
  • Case Profile.

Graphs are only displayed if there are 10 or more charges/cases for the aspect of the offence represented by the tab (e.g. the number of cases that received a community correction order). ‘Insufficient data to display' appears where there are fewer than 10 charges/cases.

Sentence Type (Cases)

The Sentence Type (Cases) tab gives the sentence type imposed for cases where the offence was the principal offence (i.e. the offence within a case that received the most severe sentence).

The data includes:

  • the total number of cases
  • the percentage of cases that received each sentence type.

You can find data on the gender and age group of offenders using the tabs below the Sentence Type (Cases) tab.

Sentence Length (Cases)

The Sentence Length (Cases) tab gives the sentence length or fine amount for each sentence type for cases where the offence was the principal offence (i.e. the offence within a case that received the most severe sentence).

For each sentence type, the data includes:

  • the total number of cases
  • the percentage of cases that received each sentence length or fine amount
  • summary statistics on the minimum, maximum and median sentence.

You can find data on the gender and age group of offenders using the tabs below each sentence type.

The following information is given under each tab:

  • imprisonment – the total effective sentence length in years
  • non-parole period – the non-parole period in years
  • partially suspended sentence – the part to serve in prison in years
  • wholly suspended sentence – the total effective sentence length in years
  • youth justice centre order – the total effective sentence length in years
  • community correction order – the total effective sentence length in years
  • intensive correction order – the total effective sentence length in years
  • community-based order – the total effective sentence length in years
  • fine – the fine amount in dollars.

Imprisonment by Non-Parole Period Tab

The Imprisonment by Non-Parole Period tab uses a tile graph to present data on each combination of total effective sentence and non-parole period for cases that received imprisonment.

The size of each tile reflects the percentage of cases with that particular combination of total effective sentence and non-parole period. The larger the tile, the greater the percentage of offenders who received that combination.

Hovering over a tile brings up the percentage and number of cases represented by the tile.

Sentencing Outcomes (Charges)

The Sentencing Outcomes (Charges) tab gives the sentence type and sentence length or fine amount for charges.

The Sentence Type tab includes data on:

  • the total number of charges
  • the percentage of charges that received each sentence type.

The Sentence Length tab includes data for each sentence type on:

  • the total number of charges
  • the percentage of charges that received each sentence length or fine amount
  • summary statistics, including the minimum, maximum and median.

The following information is given under each tab:

  • imprisonment – the length in years
  • partially suspended sentence – the length in years
  • wholly suspended sentence – the length in years
  • youth justice centre order – the length in years
  • community correction order – the length in years
  • intensive correction order – the length in years
  • community-based order – the length in years
  • fine – the fine amount in dollars.

Case Profile

The Case Profile tab includes data on:

  • the age of offenders for cases where the offence was the principal offence
  • the gender of offenders for cases where the offence was the principal offence
  • the number of charges of any offence per case.

Magistrates' Court Graphs

Magistrates' Court sentencing data is grouped under three tabs for each offence:

  • Sentence Type (Cases)
  • Sentence Type (Charges)
  • Sentence Length (Cases/Charges).

Sentence Type (Cases)

The Sentence Type (Cases) tab includes the type of sentence imposed for cases that included at least one charge of the offence.

The data includes:

  • the total number of cases
  • the percentage of cases that received each sentence type.

You can find data on the gender and age group of offenders using the tabs below the Sentence Type (Cases) tab.

Sentence Type (Charges)

The Sentence Type (Charges) tab includes the type of sentence imposed for charges of the offence.

The data includes:

  • the total number of charges
  • the percentage of charges that received each sentence type.

Sentence Length (Cases/Charges)

The Sentence Length (Cases/Charges) tab gives the sentence length or the fine amount imposed for both cases and charges.

Data for imprisonment sentences includes:

  • the total effective sentence in months for cases
  • the non-parole period in months for cases
  • the imprisonment length in months for charges according to whether the sentence is an aggregate or a non-aggregate sentence.

Data for partially suspended sentences includes:

  • the total effective sentence in months for cases
  • the sentence length in months for charges according to whether the sentence is an aggregate or a non-aggregate sentence
  • the imprisonment part to serve for charges according to whether the sentence is an aggregate or a non-aggregate sentence.

Data for wholly suspended sentences, community correction orders and intensive correction orders includes the length of sentence in months for charges according to whether the sentence is an aggregate or a non-aggregate sentence. Data on community-based orders gives the sentence length in months for charges.

Data for fines includes the fine amount in dollars for charges according to whether the fine is an aggregate or a non-aggregate sentence.

View Graphs as Table Data

All data presented in the graphs is available in tables. You can access the tables by clicking the View Graphs as Table Data link above the tabs.

View a Written Summary

Written summaries are available for 28 offences sentenced in the higher courts. The summaries contain key sentencing statistics for an offence as well as the offence’s definition and maximum penalty. The offences include murder, rape, aggravated burglary and trafficking in a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence.

You can access the summaries by clicking on the download SACStat offence summary link above the tabs.

Printing

SACStat graphs and tables can be printed using the print menu in your web browser.

Previous Versions of SACStat

The Sentencing Advisory Council launched SACStat in November 2012 with sentencing data from the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. Magistrates' Court sentencing data was expanded and updated in June 2013 and October 2014. Higher courts sentencing data was incorporated into SACStat in October 2014 and updated in May 2015 and in March 2016.

Feedback

We welcome your feedback on SACStat. You can provide feedback to us via our Contact Us page. Please let us know if you would like a reply to your feedback.

Last update 1 August 2017 © Sentencing Advisory Council, State of Victoria, 2017

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