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Seized Drug Assets Pad Police Budgets

Organizations working for reform, as well as helping individual victims, include the Institute for Justice, a libertariannonprofit law firm in Washington, D.C., which works to end civil forfeiture abuse.[28] It has helped numerous clients recover property seized by the government.[28] The Institute of Justice is helping one forfeiture victim sue the federal district court as well as the mayor, district attorney, and police commissioner in Philadelphia.[10]Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, advocates that civil forfeiture should be abolished except for use in enforcing maritime and customs laws, and require that any seizures be linked to criminal convictions of specific people.[52] If that is not possible, Bullock recommends that seized revenues be placed in neutral funds such as drug treatment efforts, that standards of proof for law enforcement be raised to ensure that police provide “clear and convincing evidence” of wrongdoing, that the burden of proof should be moved to government to prove wrongdoing, that seized assets should be tracked such that information is easily accessible by the public, and that the equitable sharing arrangement be abolished.[52]Sometimes victims turn to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal assistance in winning back their seized property