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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122977 Find in a Library
Title: Life Imprisonment in Australia
Author(s): I Potas
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0-642-14743-4
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The meaning of a sentence of life imprisonment varies substantially among different jurisdictions in Australia, and this variation may not be the most appropriate approach.
Abstract: Life imprisonment is the most severe penalty now available in Australia, and, currently, about 5 percent of the total prison population in Australian correctional institutions are serving an indeterminate life sentence. However, the average term of incarceration for these prisoners is about 13 years. In Western Australia, a strict security life imprisonment sentence means that certain prisoners must serve at least 20 years of their sentence before they may be considered for release on parole. The meaning of a life sentence is different in other jurisdictions, however. Providing greater certainty in prison terms for the most serious offenses would probably be favored by the public. In addition, judicial officers would undoubtedly welcome greater flexibility in setting maximum sentences for crimes that are currently punishable only by mandatory terms of life imprisonment. 12 references.
Main Term(s): Life sentences
Index Term(s): Australia; Indeterminate sentences; Sentencing reform
Note: Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 19, August 1989
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