Civil Asset Forfeiture: Where Does The Money Go?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marian Williams Ph.D., Professor & Assistant Chairperson (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: In the past 25 years, the "war on drugs" has continued despite evidence that it has not been successful. One aspect of this war, civil asset forfeiture, has been used as a tool by federal, state, and local law enforcement to "take the profit out of the drug trade" and to increase the amount of revenues that law enforcement may use to carry out the "war on drugs." The purpose of this research note is to examine federal and state studies to ascertain how proceeds from for features are used by the respective governments. It was determined that a vast majority of states (88 percent) as well as the federal government explicitly allow law enforcement agencies to benefit from the "war on drugs" by keeping the proceeds from civil asset forfeitures. Likewise, only a small number of states (fewer than 20 percent) mention treatment or education as beneficiaries of proceeds, even though it has been argued that treatment and education may be more successful in reducing drug-related crime.

Additional Information

Williams, Marian R. (2002). Civil asset forfeiture: Where does the money go? Criminal Justice Review, 27, 321-329. Version of record available from Sage Publications. [ISSN: 0734-0168], [doi: 10.1177/073401680202700207].
Language: English
Date: 2002

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