In 2012, about 9 per cent (just over 12,100) of all convictions carried a prison sentence. The most common sentence length was of a maximum of two months (47 per cent of all convictions carrying a prison sentence) while the second most common sentence length was of over two months but no more than six months (24 per cent of all convictions carrying a prison sentence). Just under 950 sentences, or 8 per cent, carried a prison term of over two years, six of which carried a life sentence. Just under 60 youths were sentenced to youth custody in 2012, a sanction that since 1999 has largely replaced the use of prison for youths up to eighteen years of age.
A legislative change introduced 1 January 2007 led to the sanctions youth care and youth service, previously included under care of the social services, now having become separate sanctions. There were just over 3,410 youth care and youth service sentences in 2011, which are 775 fewer than in 2011.
In 2012, just under 11,200 convictions carried a suspended sentence as the principal sanction, of which 41 per cent (4,540 convictions) were combined with community service. The number of convictions carrying a suspended sentence, with or without the combination of community service, has increased continuously since these sanctioning forms were introduced in 1993 and 1999 respectively.
Men and women accounted for 83 and 17 per cent respectively of those found guilty of offences in 2012. Between 2000 and 2009 the proportion of women increased from 16 to 18 per cent, to drop slightly in 2010. Youths aged between fifteen and twenty made up approximately 19 per cent of all convicted in 2012. In relation to the proportion of the population, youths are over-represented among those found guilty of offences compared to members of other age groups.