Ministers have been accused of insulting victims after it emerged that half of convicted sex attackers, violent criminals and burglars are avoiding prison sentences.
Thousands of serious criminals have walked free from court, including 107 paedophiles who abused children aged under 13 - 46% of the total.
Some 49% of those convicted of sexual assault in 2012 - 2,324 offenders - did not receive a custodial sentence.
Just 262 were given jail terms lasting more than four years. A total of 11,000 burglars escaped being sent to prison, as did 5,000 robbers.
Some 51% of drug dealers avoided jail terms, and so did seven in eight common assault offenders.
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, who used parliamentary questions to obtain the statistics, said Government cuts were undermining the system.
"Some of these crimes are so serious and violent that members of the public rightly expect them to lead to a prison sentence," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"One of the concerns is that this is being done in order to save money. Justice done on the cheap like this risks prisoners reoffending rather than being reformed, which means more victims and misery.
"This will be an insult to many victims of crime who want to see those who committed crimes against them properly punished and rehabilitated."