Report: Illinois authorities take millions in asset seizures

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CHICAGO (AP) — A new study shows that Illinois law enforcement confiscated more than $319 million in cash and property from individuals over the past 10 years, using a system that doesn’t require convictions to validate the forfeitures.

The Chicago Tribune  reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the Illinois Policy Institute recently released a report in which researchers explain financial incentives for police departments and local prosecutors to seize personal property from the public.

The study found that law enforcement agencies in Illinois receive about $30 million in forfeited property each year.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the department has external audits done to ensure the money is being used properly. The Cook County sheriff’s office declined to respond to questions about how it spends forfeiture money.