The Pros And Cons Of Fines In The Criminal Justice System

735 Words3 Pages

Introduction Sentencing methods and rationales are continually highly contested in the Criminal Justice system. Monetary penalties are particularly pivotal in these debates. According to Walsh, research from all corners of the world continually demonstrates that the poorest in society are more likely to be subject to the Criminal Justice System. This evidence Walsh argues, ‘cannot be ignored’, when considering which sentencing options should be used. The fine is the most commonly used penal sanction in most Western Penal systems. Fines are a historic type of monetary penalty which have remained incredibly popular. Outside of the United States, fines make up about 70 % of all punishments in the lower courts. The fine can be seen as a modest penalty, and appropriate, in my opinion, only if the offence was minor. Bentham sees monetary penalties as ‘ideal’. This I argue is incorrect. Monetary penalties have so many disadvantages that they should not be used to a greater extent in the criminal justice system. Thus some have gone as far to argue that they should be completely abolished. However Burch has said that this would not be possible so reform should be favoured instead. I will argue that updating their current use is essential in order to make the current system of fines more effective and more restricted. I will continue to discuss why fines are not effective, from their rational, to their effect on the offender to the way that they are set in practice. I will conclude

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