Civil Asset Forfeiture’s Future: A View From Law Enforcement

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize an individual’s property often without requiring that they be charged or convicted of a crime. Frequently, the cash and assets seized under these programs go directly to the law enforcement agencies’ budgets, bypassing the standard appropriations process. While some states have moved to restrict this practice, federal law enables state and local law enforcement to partner with federal agents to seize assets and receive a share of the takings back in return.

Despite a recent temporary pause in the Department of Justice’s Equitable Sharing Program, the funds are once again flowing. This development raises important questions: What role can policymakers and Congress play in setting the parameters for civil asset forfeiture? What impact did the temporary federal pause in equitable sharing payments have on the ground? What are the prospects of policy changes at the state and federal level? And, are civil asset forfeitures necessary for law enforcement to do their jobs?

Please join the Charles Koch Institute and a panel of former law enforcement officials and civil asset forfeiture experts to discuss these important questions and more.


Eric Alstonsenior policy and research analyst, Charles Koch Institute


Diane Goldsteinexecutive board member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; retired lieutenant commander, Redondo Beach (California) Police Department 

John Malcolmdirector, Edwin Meese III Center at the Heritage Foundation; former deputy assistant attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice

Currie Myerssenior visiting fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation; former sheriff, Johnson County, Kansas

Darpana Shethattorney, Institute for Justice; former assistant attorney general, State of New York

Sign up for updates