Civil Forfeiture Reform

Last year, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office brought in over $6 million in forfeitures, with the large majority of that money going to salaries and more drug busts. This perpetual motion machine, aided by the city’s stop-and-frisk policy, continues to pour money back into drug enforcement operations while not one dollar is set aside for community-based drug and crime-fighting programs.

[frame align=”right”]Forfeiture[/frame]Of course, ridding our streets of dangerous drugs and the criminals who peddle them is an important task, bravely executed by Philadelphia’s finest and supported by the District Attorney’s office. However, the anecdotal and statistical evidence of disparate treatment mounting against the practice of civil forfeiture clearly demonstrates that it is time for a change.

Together with Republican Senator Mike Folmer, I have introduced legislation which would require a criminal conviction of the legitimate property owner prior to the forfeiture of any property. I believe that this simple change in procedure is paramount in ensuring that citizen’s fundamental rights are upheld, regardless of their race or income level. For more information on this important legislation, please click here.

I’ve also joined forces with the Fix Forfeiture and the U.S. Justice Action Network, a non-partisan coalition of the nation’s leading policy think tanks and social justice organizations, to fight for reforms not only to the civil forfeiture process, but across our criminal justice system. Visit this page regularly for additional information as we continue to make Pennsylvania a more just and equitable place to live.

To learn more about Civil Asset Forfeiture in Philadelphia, please visit