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NCJ Number: 223801 Find in a Library
Title: Is Policing for Profit?: Answers From Asset Forfeiture
Journal: Criminology and Public Policy  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:219-244
Author(s): John L. Worrall; Tomislav V. Kovandzic
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines asset forfeiture as a motivation in policing.
Abstract: This work found no clear evidence of more forfeiture in States that permit local agencies to receive the most proceeds; however, it did find that local law enforcement agencies circumvent restrictive State laws (those placing limits on the proceeds they can receive) by teaming up with Federal officials to participate in so-called adoptive forfeitures, which permit them to receive equitable sharing payments. This latter finding was robust to numerous specifications, not altered in models estimated on various subsamples, and not affected by extreme values. Critics have argued that asset forfeiture encourages policing for profit, but their arguments have yet to transcend the anecdotal arena. This study tested two hypotheses aimed at answering the question whether policing was being done for profit. The study also lent a measure of support to the arguments espoused by forfeiture's critics, namely that forfeiture may be pursued for financial reasons. The article did not, however, assert that policing for profit was necessarily problematic, citing the difficulty in faulting financially strapped public agencies for seeking needed resources. The work also did not assert that forfeiture superseded other criminal justice goals, such as enforcement of antidrug laws. Data were gathered on asset forfeiture payments from a multistate sample of 572 law enforcement agencies, and used the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics surveys from 1997 and 2000, U.S. Census data, and Uniform Crime Reports. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Asset Forfeiture; Motivation
Index Term(s): Law enforcement; Police research; Police work attitudes; Psychology of law enforcement
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