A controversial law enforcement known as civil asset forfeiture allows police to seize and keep cash and property from people, who are suspected of wrongdoing but may never be charged. Despite public outcries, the use of this procedure has increased in the past decade.
1. The figures in reports show “the size of the funds after deposits and expenditures are accounted for.” What “red flag of fraud” issue do you anticipate could creep into this type of reporting?
2. What are some of the reasons presented in the article for why civil asset forfeiture is increasing?
3. Why is it so difficult to get seized property back and what are the costs?
4. What measures or internal controls should be taken to strengthen safeguards against innocent property owners? What potential measures are in the pipeline?
Ingraham, C. (2015) New report: In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff from people. The Washington Post, Nov. 10 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/10/report-in-lean-times-police-start-taking-a-lot-more-stuff-from-people/