Under a system called civil asset forfeiture, police and prosecutors can confiscate — and keep — money and property they suspect is part of a drug crime. In Massachusetts, even when criminal charges have been dismissed, you may never get it back.
After a WBUR/ProPublica investigation revealed Boston Police bought spy tech using funds hidden from the public, city legislators called for a review of the transaction.
Massachusetts police can seize and keep money from drug-related arrests. No one has publicly reported how that money gets spent. A WBUR/ProPublica investigation found that Boston police used over $600,000 of it on a controversial surveillance device.
Following our investigation, Massachusetts lawmakers are calling for changes to the state’s civil asset forfeiture system, which allowed one top prosecutor to keep people’s money for years, even when they weren’t charged with a crime.
Massachusetts Police Can Easily Seize Your Money. The DA of One County Makes It Nearly Impossible to Get It Back.
Massachusetts prosecutors can hold on to seized money indefinitely, even when people are not charged with a crime. In Worcester County, it’s so hard to get one’s money back, some legal experts say it may violate due process rights.