Here's an interesting conundrum:
When you get a speeding ticket (in the US) you pay a fine, and the amount of the fine usually depends on how fast you were going and where you were at the time (penalties doubled in construction zones, for example).
Other countries levy greater fines on those who have greater income, figuring that a $100 fine is a bigger punishment for someone who earns, say, $500/week than it is for someone who earns, say, $5,000/week (a fifth of his weekly pay as opposed to a 50th).
Some have argued that this would be unfair, since it levies different fines (measured in dollar amount) for the same crime from different people.
What if the punishment were community service instead? Say, an hour of community service for every mile above the speed limit? It wouldn't be fair to make a wealthy person do twice as many hours of community service as a poor person, would it? Nor would it be fair to make a poor person do twice as many hours of community service as a wealthy person, would it?
Now, consider that a $100 fine represents eight hours of work for the person who earns $500/week. The same fine represents less than an hour's worth of work (about 48 minutes) for the person who earns $5,000/week.
If we wouldn't sentence a poor man to more hours of community service than a rich man, why would we fine a poor man the equivalent of eight hours of work, while we fine a rich man the equivalent of 48 minutes of work?
What do you folks think?
It isn't a bad idea but the costs of administering it would be huge.
In many counties in the US, the courts are big on tacking on extra fees. A $200 fine ends up being a $600-$700 fine.
Rich person pays fine.
Poor person has to choose between paying fine or paying food and rent. Poor person chooses the food/rent and doesn't show up in court since they can't pay and are afraid. Warrant for arrest is then issued. Next time police car and poor person car happen to meet, police auto-license-plate scanner detects warrant. Car impounded (permanently, since poor person can't pay to retrieve it), poor person arrested, poor person still owes original fines and fees, poor person gets even more new fines and fees, poor person stays in jail for awhile, thus is fired from job. Poor person commits suicide. County classifies it as poor person being depressed due to mental illness.
Have a nice day.
Jail is expensive too. Neither jail nor community service runs at a net profit.
by Don W6 years ago
In jurisdictions that maintain capital punishment are the rates of aggravated murder and felony murder lower than in jurisdictions where capital punishment has been banned?
by Polycarp mtega7 years ago
what are the differences between preventive and deterrent theory?answers should be posted to my email
by jacobt28 years ago
People within and outside of the US government have debated on the issue of whether young adults of the ages of about 18-22 should be have a mandatory one year period of community service that they must complete. Do you...
by Wendy Iturrizaga8 years ago
HubMob Weekly topic: Charities and Community Service
by Mazlan6 years ago
How to encourage people to participate in community service?Many times, it is difficult to find volunteers as excuses given are, they don't have the time.
by Deb Welch6 years ago
Do You Think Working Community Service HoursIs a Just Punishment for First and Second Offendersof Being Caught With Marijuana? Jails and prisons are overloaded. Why should marijuanaoffenders be put in...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.