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Prosecutions, sentences and punishments

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Justice
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


These statistics contain data on the sentences issued and waived, and charges rejected by courts of first instance. In addition to the prosecutions at district courts and at courts of appeal acting as courts of first instance, the statistics also contain data on the summary penal fines imposed by the prosecutor and on petty fines imposed by the police, customs officials or frontier guard authorities. As a rule, a person is recorded in the statistics as many times as aforementioned decisions have been made about him or her. Another main mode of recording applied in these statistics is the so-called principal offence rule, according to which each defendant or convicted person is described by the most serious offence under the severest punishment decision category of the court.

Data content

The statistics contain data on issued sentences by extent of punishment and average punishments by offence. General types of punishment include summary penal fine, fine, conditional imprisonment, community service and unconditional imprisonment. Offender aged under 18 may be sentenced to juvenile punishment.Sentences reserved especially for civil servants are reprimand and removal from office. Disciplinary punishments of a soldier include caution, confinement to barracks, disciplinary fine and close confinement. A legal person may be sentenced to a corporate fine. Of other penal sanctions, the statistics cover driving ban, prohibition against hunting, prohibition against keeping animals, and loss of military rank ordered by a court of law. Descriptive data on persons convicted or accused include age, gender, nationality, country of birth and place of residence. The data frequently requested, but not available from these statistics, are those concerning victims of crime and compensation ordered for them in civil law.

The data on individual units must be kept secret.

Classifications used

Court of law, court of appeal circuit, crime nomenclature from currently valid legislation, nationality and country of birth in accordance with the ISO standard.

Data collection methods and data sources

Basic data on persons prosecuted at courts of law are obtained from the information system on judgements of the Ministry of Justice and the Legal Register Centre. Data on summary penal judgements and fines are obtained from the respective systems of the Legal Register Centre. The data are supplemented and checked at Statistics Finland.

Updating frequency

The statistics are produced annually.

Time of completion or release

The statistics are ready in their entirety in autumn of the year following the statistical reference year.

Time series

Statistics are available starting from 1891.


accused, confinement, criminal matters, fine, foreigners, intoxicants, nationality, offences, punishments, recidivism, sentences

Contact information

Last updated 28.09.2015