Discipline in the Imperial Guard is harsh and swift. Even those administering it sometimes hestiate to call it justice. It is the stick with which the Guard is beaten, with the promise of the carrot; mustering out on a 'trophy world' usually years if not decades away. Crimes against the emperor (directly) ie heresy are almost always punishable by excommunication, which of course automatically makes the convicted a heretic and therefore a legitimate military target. Crimes against good order and military discipline (Sleeping on guard, striking a superior rank, being 'found wanting' et al) are punishable by summary execution.
Crimes against the local civilian population are very much dependant on that world's relationship with the wider Imperium and the official policy attributing culpability for the Guard's presence thereon. For instance, on Devos IV at the moment, on the loyal continent of Acer, the population are protected by the full weight of the law, both planetary and military. On Benq, which is in full rebellion, the population is guilty of rebellion and the presence of the guard there is a punishment for the population as well as having a military imperative. Whilst the Higher Command will not tolerate any breakdown of discipline, crimes against the person and crimes against property are much less likely to be followed up on.
Given all of that, who are all of those soldiers who find themselves in the penal detachments ? Those found guilty of crimes against the Departmento Munitorium; theft by false accounting, incompence in storing valuable or perishable items, any unauthorised activity, ie black market activities, running books in regiments where that is not allowed, running a still, smoking in command function offices or other fire regulation infringements, and so on. When a senior officer falls out with his commander, quite often his staff share his fall from grace, it helps to prove that the punishment is for functional reasons, not just petty interpersonal reasons.
All of the men pictured here are here as a result of investigations into the alleged misdeeds of a Palladian Officer, Wolfgang Darius de la Rontoire-Khol, who has been not only aquitted of all charges, but completly exhonerated by GCM. For having the audacity to try to implicate an Officer in their crimes, these men, drawn from across the Cadian, Corbanian, Kreig and Palladian Regiments within 17 Korps, have been sentenced to wear the regulation 69a explosive collar.
With apologies to Col Scipio. Figures by Golem Painting Studio.