They're practically warnings or tickets onto your record
We (being Mods, Gmods, Admin, etc; ) give it to members, or even some other staff to be used as a warning in most cases, or furthermore a permanent infraction for those who've been out of line. Before the infraction system wasn't used as much, but you'll see it used more in the future. It's also something for future reference as to helping us mods+ knowing what you've done wrong before, and if you did anything to help it. If you didn't, then KACHOW!, ban hammer.