Terms of Imprisonment

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Abstract

IT would have been expected that the various terms of imprisonment awarded by judges should fall into a continuous series. Such, however, is not the case, as is shown by Table 1., which is derived from a Parliamentary Blue-book recently published under the title of “Part 1.— Criminal Statistics,”p. 215. The original has been considerably reduced in size; first, by limiting the extracted data to sentences passed on male prisoners without the option of a fine, and, secondly, by entering the number of sentences to the nearest tenth or hundredth, as stated in the headings to the columns. The material dealt with is thereby more homogeneous than in the original, and its significance is more easily seen. The number of cases is amply sufficient to afford a solid base for broad conclusions, there being in round numbers 830 sentences for various terms of years, 10,540 for various terms of months, and 43,300 for various terms of weeks. The diagram drawn from Table 1. gives a still clearer view of the distribution of these sentences:—

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GALTON, F. Terms of Imprisonment. Nature 52, 174–176 (1895) doi:10.1038/052174c0

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