Faculty members Marian Williams and Jeff Holcomb, both of the Department of Government and Justice Studies, conducted a study on asset forfeiture to better understand forfeiture decisions by law enforcement. Asset forfeiture laws allow police to seize assets from individuals who are suspected of engaging in criminal activity, most commonly drug-related crimes.
The research by Williams and Holcomb was cited in written testimony provided to a Congressional hearing on the topic of asset forfeiture. Their work was also cited extensively in an amicus brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in the case Florida v. Harris (2013).
In 2009, the Institute for Justice (IJ) contacted Williams about an article she had written in 2002 regarding asset forfeiture. Williams and Holcomb agreed to partner with the Institute to create a report that further examined asset forfeiture and how frequently it is utilized. In 2010, they produced the report “Policing for Profit”.
“We are happy to see that our research is being included in policy discussions on this important issue,” said Holcomb. “The policy has raised concerns for a wide range of political groups and there seems to be some momentum to reform these laws.”
For more information on the Department of Government and Justice Studies, please visit gjs.appstate.edu.