Sanctions of adults

Information on penalties, measures and pre-trial detention have been made available since 1984.

Sanctions for adults are: Custodial sentence, financial penalty, community service and fines. Thefollowing measures can be imposed: Indefinite incarceration and in and outpatient treatment of mental disorders or addictive behaviour. For young adults who were under 25 at the time of committing the offence, the Penal Code provides the possibility of placement in an institution for young adults.

Main sanctions, measures and pre-trial detention 2020 - 2021






Total convictions with main sanction2

98 167

97 386

Custodial sanction

14 236

13 572


7 682

7 104

partially suspended




5 816

5 768

Financial penalty

83 656

83 565


15 718

16 480


67 938

67 085

Fine only



Measures only



Verdicts with provisional pre-trial custody

17 060

17 320

of which up to 2 days

12 555

13 083

Total verdicts with measures



indefinite incarceration



inpatient measures



outpatient measures



Total expulsions

2 012

1 895

¹ For adults only felonies and misdemeanours are included, because contraventions are only recorded in the register of convictions as an exception.
² One main sanction is established per verdict and this is the only one shown in the table. For this reason sanctions are ranked according to their severity and only the most severe sanction is shown. For adults, custodial sentence is considered to be the most severe sanction, followed by financial penalties, community service, fines and measures.
Source: Criminal conviction statistics (SUS), state of the Register of Criminal Conduct: 22.04.2022

Expulsion under Art. 66a SCC

The statistics on criminal convictions of the Federal Bureau of Statistics are elaborated based on the entries of the final convictions in the Swiss Convictions Register (VOSTRA). Expulsion is recorded in VOSTRA together with other sanctions (sentences and measures) and is therefore part of the criminal justice statistics.
A table with the pronounced expulsion is elaborated from this data. It contains information on the type and duration of the expulsion as well as on the characteristics of the convicted person such as gender, age and residence status.

The Federal Bureau of Statistics has developed a calculation method for the application rate of the mandatory expulsion. For all convictions of offenses under Article 66a of the Criminal Code and for which a mandatory expulsion should be ordered, it is shown whether an expulsion has been pronounced or not. Since 2019, this has been possible for all offenses in the catalog of Article 66a. The application rates show breakdowns by the characteristics of the person and the sentences. Cantonal data are also available:

A publication on the application rate’s calculation and an analysis of factors increasing the risk for expulsion were based on the data from 2017.

Publication to be downloaded in German or in French

Since 2021, figures on the application of the hard-case clause are available.

Figures showing the nationalities of those sentenced to expulsion are available since 2017.

Further information


Principle punishment: length of the penalty

Principle sanction : Combination of sanctions

Principle punishment: sociodemographic characteristics


Pre-trial detention

Other measures


Publication to be downloaded in German

Publication to be downloaded in French

Press releases

Historical data

Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Crime and Criminal Justice
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



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