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Policing for Profit Data

For this third edition of Policing for Profit, we gathered records from the forfeiture programs of 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. departments of Justice and the Treasury. For 28 states, we obtained revenue data describing individual forfeited properties—a total of 355,000 properties for the 24 states with usable data. For another 11 states, we obtained revenue data for individual agencies or prosecutors’ offices. We also collected data on spending from forfeiture funds for 17 states, the largest collection of such data. We organized all these data into a single database for a total of over 17 million data points. The breadth and detail of these data allow us to conduct new nationwide and state-by-state analyses, giving us a clearer picture of forfeiture across the United States than previously possible. Readers who would like to peruse our data, or perhaps use them for their own analyses, may download them here.

National Data

National_Revenue.csv contains standardized key forfeiture revenue data for 45 states. Click for key variables, definitions and values.

National_Expense.csv contains standardized key forfeiture expenditure data for 16 states. Click for key variables, definitions and values.

State Data

State_Revenue.zip contains separate forfeiture revenue datasets for each state. Each spreadsheet includes the standardized key variables contained in Revenue.csv and additional variables unique to each state. See the data notes on state profiles for details about a particular state. Contact the authors for documentation pertaining to individual states. Click for key variables, definitions and values.

State_Expense.zip contains separate forfeiture expenditure datasets for each state. Each spreadsheet includes the standardized key variables contained in Expense.csv and additional variables unique to each state. See the data notes on state profiles for details about a particular state. Contact the authors for documentation pertaining to individual states. Click for key variables, definitions and values.

Federal Data

Variables, Definitions and Values

National Revenue Data

  • RevenueID – Unique ID for row in Revenue.csv. Also serves as the primary key in IJ’s database.
  • ID – Foreign key for IJ’s database maintenance purposes.
  • YEAR – Generally represents the fiscal or calendar year in which property was forfeited. If date was not available, YEAR represents the year for which the report was filed.
  • UNIT_TYPE – Unit of observation. Values: property, case, other. “Other” units include data reported at higher levels, such as by agency, county, or state, among others.
  • PROP_TYPE – Type of property forfeited. Values: currency, vehicles, real property, other.
  • REV – Value forfeited. Value can include estimated value, gross revenue or net proceeds; varies by state.
  • PROCD_TYPE – Type of forfeiture proceeding. Values: civil judicial, civil, criminal, administrative, judicial, summary, contested, uncontested, other, unknown.
  • CONV_TYPE – Conviction outcome. Values: conviction, no conviction.
  • CASE_NO – Case number associated with the forfeiture.

National Expenditure Data

  • RevenueID – Unique ID for row in Expense.csv. Also serves as the primary key in IJ’s database.
  • ID – Foreign key for IJ’s database maintenance purposes.
  • YEAR – Generally represents the fiscal or calendar year in which funds were spent. If date was not available, YEAR represents the year for which the report was filed.
  • EXP_TYPE – Category of expense paid from forfeiture fund. Values: court costs, community programs and donations, outside services, travel and training, investigation costs, victim compensation and services, operating expenses, personnel, equipment and capital expenditures, other.
  • EXP_AMT – Amount expended.

State Revenue Data

  • RevenueID – Unique ID for row in Revenue.csv. Also serves as the primary key in IJ’s database.
  • ID – Foreign key for IJ’s database maintenance purposes.
  • YEAR – Generally represents the fiscal or calendar year in which property was forfeited. If date was not available, YEAR represents the year for which the report was filed.
  • UNIT_TYPE – Unit of observation. Values: property, case, other. “Other” units include data reported at higher levels, such as by agency, county, or state, among others.
  • PROP_TYPE – Type of property forfeited. Values: currency, vehicles, real property, other.
  • REV – Value forfeited. Value can include estimated value, gross revenue or net proceeds; varies by state.
  • PROCD_TYPE – Type of forfeiture proceeding. Values: civil judicial, civil, criminal, administrative, judicial, summary, contested, uncontested, other, unknown.
  • CONV_TYPE – Conviction outcome. Values: conviction, no conviction.
  • CASE_NO – Case number associated with the forfeiture.

Note: Arkansas’ data departs from the file name convention because it has only seizure data and no consistent forfeiture revenue data.

State Expenditure Data

  • RevenueID – Unique ID for row in Expense.csv. Also serves as the primary key in IJ’s database.
  • ID – Foreign key for IJ’s database maintenance purposes.
  • YEAR – Generally represents the fiscal or calendar year in which funds were spent. If date was not available, YEAR represents the year for which the report was filed.
  • EXP_TYPE – Category of expense paid from forfeiture fund. Values: court costs, community programs and donations, outside services, travel and training, investigation costs, victim compensation and services, operating expenses, personnel, equipment and capital expenditures, other.
  • EXP_AMT – Amount expended.

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