The Institute for Justice recently published the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document that analyses civil forfeiture policies across the US and gives each state a scorecard based on how favorable its laws are for property owners.
In the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, the Institute for Justice takes a look at every state’s civil asset forfeiture laws and the amount of forfeiture proceeds collected since 2000, based on publicly available information.
Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows law enforcement agencies to seize property they suspect is linked to criminal activity, sometimes even without charging the property owner with a crime. It is different from criminal forfeiture, which requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an owner is guilty of a crime and that the property is connected to the case.
The state of New York has received a middling grade for its civil forfeiture laws from a Virginia-based public interest law firm.
In the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, the Institute for Justice (IJ) has given New York a “C” grade for its asset forfeiture laws, praising the state for a recent set of reforms that strengthened transparency requirements, while calling for more change to the state’s forfeiture laws.
According to the Institute for Justice (IJ), federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have seized more than $68 billion dollars worth of property without due process since 2000. The Virginia-based public interest law firm recently released the 3rd edition of its ‘Policing for Profit’ report, which examines civil asset forfeiture abuses by law enforcement across the U.S.
A report released yesterday questions the value of civil asset forfeiture as a means to reduce crime. While proponents of forfeiture tout its ability to target drug traffickers, the report argues that forfeiture as a practice has not led to reduced drug use. The report also argues that that revenue from forfeitures has only led to a “very small” increase in the number of crimes solved.
In its report, “Fighting Crime or Raising Revenue,” the Institute for Justice looked at ten years of data relating to the federal equitable sharing program. Civil asset forfeiture is a procedure whereby law enforcement agencies may take possession of an individual’s property if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. Equitable sharing is a specific form of asset forfeiture where local or state law enforcement team up with the feds on a case.