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NCJ Number: NCJ 226323     Find in a Library
Title: Asset Forfeiture
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): John L. Worrall
Date Published: 11/2008
Page Count: 76
  Annotation: This guide is designed to assist law enforcement officials who are considering starting an asset forfeiture program, and it serves as a refresher guide for those currently operating asset forfeiture programs.
Abstract: Asset forfeiture laws allow for the seizure and eventual forfeiture of property secured by or connected with criminal activity. Although it is primarily a deterrent and punitive tool for the criminal justice system, it can also offset the costs associated with law enforcement. This guide first discusses the origins and varieties of criminal forfeiture and civil forfeiture. This is followed by explanations of the theories of forfeiture, which encompass the forfeiture of contraband involved in crime, the forfeiture of proceeds of crime, facilitation forfeiture (property and equipment used to facilitate crime), and enterprise forfeiture (any interest or link to an ongoing criminal enterprise). The guide next discusses sharing provisions in forfeiture law, which provides for how assets obtained through forfeitures are to be distributed. The guide then addresses possible criticisms and negative consequences of asset forfeiture, such as the linking of crime-fighting to the profit motive, the impact on budget deliberations and expectations, the neglect of other crimes that do not involve asset forfeiture, the appearance of impropriety, and threats to due process. Problems for which forfeiture can be a remedy are identified. These include illegal drug markets, nuisance properties, street racing, drunk driving, drivers with revoked licenses, and prostitution. Suggestions for implementing a forfeiture program pertain to ethical considerations, avoidance of negative effects, gaining the support of the community, creation and operation of a planning unit, and evaluation of effectiveness. Appendixes address Federal forfeiture laws, disposition statutes by State, a National Code of Professional Conduct for Asset Forfeiture, and National District Attorneys Association Guidelines for Civil Asset Forfeiture. Appendix A-D, 84 endnotes and 44 references
Main Term(s): Community policing
Index Term(s): State laws ; Funding sources ; Problem-Oriented Policing ; Asset Forfeiture
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 2006-CK-WX-K003
Publication Number: ISBN 1-932582-90-8
Sale Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
Two Constitutional Square
145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Technical Assistance
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Response Guides Series, Guide No.7
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