Asset Forfeiture in Illinois

by | Nov 27, 2016

Asset Forfeiture in Illinois

by | Nov 27, 2016

Most people expect Illinois law enforcement to defend the private property of Illinois residents. As long as you obey the law, your life, liberty and property should be secure from the law – or so common sense would suggest.

Yet, every year, Illinois law enforcement agencies take tens of millions of dollars in cash, vehicles, land and other assets from state residents – in some cases without bringing criminal charges, let alone obtaining convictions, against property owners. Asset forfeiture laws, which allow the confiscation of private assets suspected of involvement in illegal activity, have been subject to abuse – and have produced large payouts for law enforcement. Since 2005, Illinois has pocketed more than $319 million from private citizens throughout the state.[1] Federal law enforcement took in more than $404 million in Illinois over the same time period.[2]

While forfeiture is lucrative for law enforcement, it can be devastating to the people from whom property is taken. Motor vehicles, because of their high value, have become particularly popular targets of seizures. But losing a vehicle even temporarily can precipitate a cascade of negative consequences in a person’s life, including the inability to maintain employment or even to attend court proceedings to try to reclaim the seized property. This practice can exacerbate impoverishment and harm the person’s innocent children and family members.

Exactly how much is gained by Illinois law enforcement through asset forfeiture, and which agencies are responsible for the bulk of asset seizures? And what can be done to ensure property owners face a fair, efficient and equitable process when their property is seized?

Read the full report at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Ben Ruddell and Bryant Jackson-Green

Ben Ruddell and Bryant Jackson-Green

View all posts

Our Books

libertarian inst books

Related Articles

Related

The Switzerland Summit: Peace Through Delusion

The Switzerland Summit: Peace Through Delusion

Ukraine has been at war for over ten years, and even the political establishment wipeout in the European elections has not managed to shock the Western ruling class back into coherence. Nothing could provide a clearer example of their clownish nature than the recent...

read more
Smashing the UK’s Statist Mindset

Smashing the UK’s Statist Mindset

Mainstream British political thought processes contain an epidemic of dreadful reasoning. Witness the average political interaction between “popular” British parliamentarians and voters, think through the reasoning of the topics discussed, and you will know exactly...

read more
Will Trump Learn from Bump Stock Battering?

Will Trump Learn from Bump Stock Battering?

The Supreme Court last Friday struck down one of the most controversial gun control edicts in recent years. The ruling on bump stocks is being widely hailed as a victory for an expansive reading of the Second Amendment. But it is also a stark rebuke to Donald Trump’s...

read more
Sham-ocracy, Scam-ocracy

Sham-ocracy, Scam-ocracy

The word "democracy" is bandied about rhetorically by politicians on a regular basis to rationalize whatever it is that they want to do. This tendency has increased markedly in recent times as so-called wars of democracy and campaigns to save or preserve democracy are...

read more
TGIF: “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us”

TGIF: “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us”

The famous line "We have met the enemy and he is us" is from Walt Kelly's comic strip, Pogo. Kelly adapted the line from a U.S. naval commandant who, during the War of 1812 against Great Britain, reported to his superior, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This