Ever Have Property Seized Yet Never Arrested, Charged or Convicted of a Crime?

Over the course of a decade, according to rt.com Illinois and federal law enforcement have taken in more than $319 million and $404 million, respectively, from state residents who were merely suspected of having committed a crime, a new report has found.

“[E]very 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,”the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-IL) and the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) jointly wrote in the introduction to a report outlining how much money law enforcement has made off of civil asset forfeitures since 2005.

Illinois law enforcement averaged approximately $31 million in confiscation a year on the state level between 2005 and 2014. Some asset seizures were never reported, the report found. The federal government averaged more than $36 million in asset forfeiture.

In 2012 alone, Illinois took in almost $20 million through asset forfeitures, ranking it the third worst state for its residents that year, according to a 2015 Institute for Justice report, a finding the ACLU-IL and IPI reiterated.

“Illinois stands out among other states for its high seizure rates, ranking among the top 11 in takings through equitable sharing with the federal government,” the authors wrote.

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