Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and the Incentives: Is Law Enforcement Addicted to the Federal Asset Forfeiture Program?

Jessica Huddleston, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Civil asset forfeiture is a form of confiscation of property by the State, without compensation, under the regulation of law. The Comprehensive Crime Control Act produces a system of cooperation of states and local law enforcement agencies to work with federal drug enforcement authorities allowing localities to “equitably share” the proceeds that were civilly forfeited. This study examined all 50 states from 2004 to 2015, relative to the number of assets requested, the number of items that were actually adopted, decriminalized cannabis and the use of the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund. ^ This research used multiple linear regression to provide a description of the relationship between incentives associated with equitable sharing and state law enforcement agency’s use of the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund. State, HHS regional designation, standard of proof in relation to the Federal standard of proof, actual number of assets that were federally adopted, and population were a significant predictors of Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund reimbursement and 64 percent of the variance was explained by variables within the model. ^ The results suggest that law enforcement agents are working to maximize the efficiency, but are undercutting the state-defined rights of citizens to vote with their feet. The impact of cannabis decriminalization does not appear to be a primary factor in increasing the use of the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund. This research supports the assertion that law enforcement agencies appear to be dependent on the use of the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund as it is relatively consistent. However, it does not appear to be only due to the desire of law enforcement to increase their discretionary budget. The Comprehensive Crime Control Act created the opportunity for state and local law enforcement agencies to bypass state law by civil asset forfeiture through equitable sharing.^

Subject Area

Law enforcement|Criminology|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Jessica Huddleston, "Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and the Incentives: Is Law Enforcement Addicted to the Federal Asset Forfeiture Program?" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10937132.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10937132

Share

COinS