2.7 Prison sentenced snapshot trend by management category
"Short term" sentenced offender numbers (those with less than or equal to two years imposed) have been stable since 1980, with almost all of the growth in prisoners with longer sentences. However, the trend lines above hide considerable complexity in terms of changing rules around overall proportion served and release timing, and the typical proportion already served as remand before sentencing. The seasonal cycle discussed above, is also revealed to be a phenomenon restricted to the shorter-term prisoners.
"Long term" prison sentenced offenders are those serving determinate sentences of greater than 2 years. Significant and sustained growth can be observed in this group.
Life and Preventive Detention ("indeterminate term") offenders are slowly but steadily growing. Though numbers of new starts on indeterminate sentences are low (less than 50 per year), they remain in prison for long periods of time, and therefore are accumulating to become a significant sub-set of the prisoner population.