Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 450–458 | Cite as

Financial penalties as an alternative criminal sanction: Evidence from panel data

  • Todd L. Cherry


This paper explores whether financial penalties can be a viable alternative to traditional sanction methods. Given that the annual cost of operating jails and prisons is approximately $40 billion in the U.S., any increase in the efficiency of the criminal justice system will lead to substantial savings. Using a panel model to control for jurisdictional heterogeneity, results indicate that financial penalties provide a significant deterrent effect similar to those provided by other sanctions. As such, policy makers should reconsider alternative sanctions as part of a larger sentencing policy. While financial penalties are not options in all cases, the large number of nonviolent offenders currently incarcerated suggests that opportunities exist for financial punishment to reduce criminal justice expenditures.


Criminal Justice Panel Data International Economic Public Finance Justice System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Atlantic Economic Society 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd L. Cherry
    • 1
  1. 1.Appalachian State UniversityU.S.A.

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