Australian Institute of Criminology

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Life imprisonment in Australia

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 19

Ivan Potas
ISBN 0 642 14743 4 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, August 1989


The history of life imprisonment demonstrates that this sentence does not ordinarily mean imprisonment until death. Potas presents statistics on which offenders receive life sentences and the average term served. He compares indeterminate and determinate sentences, and discretionary and mandatory sentences, with special reference to murder and drug trafficking. He also discusses legislation; truth in sentencing; and recommendations that a prisoner never be released.