IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcjust/v39y2011i3p273-285.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Civil asset forfeiture, equitable sharing, and policing for profit in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Holcomb, Jefferson E.
  • Kovandzic, Tomislav V.
  • Williams, Marian R.

Abstract

Purpose Critics of asset forfeiture claim that forfeiture laws create financial incentives that inappropriately influence police behavior. The present study examines the relationship between measures of the financial incentive and legal burdens for civil asset forfeiture on federal equitable sharing payments to local law enforcement to determine whether police behavior is affected by different statutory incentives for forfeiture activity.Methods Using LEMAS and DOJ forfeiture data, this study addresses some of the limitations of previous research by using a multi-year average for forfeiture activity, an improved measure of financial incentives for law enforcement, and multiple measures of statutory burdens to law enforcement to determine the impact of forfeiture laws on forfeiture activity.Results Consistent with anecdotal reports and limited prior research, findings indicate that agencies in jurisdictions with more restrictive state forfeiture laws receive more proceeds through federal equitable sharing.Conclusions Results suggest that state and local law enforcement agencies use federal equitable sharing to circumvent their own state forfeiture laws when state laws are more burdensome or less financially rewarding to these agencies, providing additional evidence that police operations are influenced by financial incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Holcomb, Jefferson E. & Kovandzic, Tomislav V. & Williams, Marian R., 2011. "Civil asset forfeiture, equitable sharing, and policing for profit in the United States," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 273-285, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:273-285
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235211000316
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benson, Bruce L & Rasmussen, David W & Sollars, David L, 1995. "Police Bureaucracies, Their Incentives, and the War on Drugs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 21-45, April.
    2. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-321, May.
    3. Worrall, John L., 2001. "Addicted to the drug war: The role of civil asset forfeiture as a budgetary necessity in contemporary law enforcement," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 171-187.
    4. Baicker, Katherine & Jacobson, Mireille, 2007. "Finders keepers: Forfeiture laws, policing incentives, and local budgets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2113-2136, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:273-285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcrimjus .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.