Fact: The above title was an actual court case last year.
Fact: There have been almost 62,000 cash seizures without search warrants or indictments since 2001, totaling $2.5 billion in revenues for federal, state, and local authorities.
Fact: In many cases, the owner is not even charged with a crime.
Fact: Half of all seizures were below $8,800.
Fact: Almost 300 departments and an additional 210 task forces have seized 20% or more of their annual budgets since 2008.
Source: Stop and Seize, the Washington Post
Fact: In the United States, there is no federally set minimum age for criminal responsibility.
Fact: 37 states have also opted not to establish a minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Fact: This is in violation of the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Fact: The United States is one of only two countries in the world to have signed but not ratified the convention, with the other being Somalia.
Source: Incarceration Nation, Foreign Policy Passport
Fact: According to an Executive Office for Immigration Review dataset of approximately 100,000 immigration court cases for unaccompanied minors, almost half (48%) of defendants are not represented by an attorney.
Fact: In every case, the government is represented by an attorney.
Fact: In currently pending cases, less than one third (31%) of unaccompanied children are represented by an attorney.
Fact: In cases where a child was represented by a lawyer, 47% were allowed to stay in the United States.
Fact: In cases where a child was not represented by a lawyer, 10% were allowed to stay in the United States.
Source: Immigration Reports, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Fact: Many services that were once free, including constitutionally protected ones, are increasingly subject to fee schedules. Failure to pay can result in imprisonment.
Fact: In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for their public defender’s services.
Fact: In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged for room and board during jail and prison stays.
Fact: In at least 44 states, offenders can be billed for their own probation and supervision.
Fact: In all states except Hawaii and the District of Columbia, there is a fee for electronic monitoring devices that defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.
Source: Guilty As Charged, NPR
Fact: 52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates are parents to a child under 18 years old.
Fact: An estimated 1.7 million minors have one or both parents in prison – approximately 2% of the U.S. youth population. This does not include children with parents who have served time or are currently under probation or parole.
Fact: Since 1991, parents of minor children held in state or federal facilities has increased 79%.
Source: Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children, Bureau of Justice Statistics
Fact: In many states and in all federal enforcement agencies, police may seize items believed to be used in committing a crime or bought with the profits of a crime. This applies to felonies and some misdemeanors.
Fact: Police make the initial decision at the time of the arrest, but they can keep the items regardless of whether the suspect is charged or convicted.
Fact: Police use or spend the items to make purchases and fund salaries for the department.
Fact: In 2003, the federal government seized $479 million worth of property. In 2012, it seized $4.18 billion, a nearly 1000% increase.
Source: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, Star-Telegram
Fact: Both publicly and in court filings, the Bureau of Prisons insists that mental illness is treatable and curable, like a cold or infection, rather than a permanent condition.
Fact: No other prison system is known to use this concept. No others in the corrections or psychology field takes this view.
Source: The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Abuses of Solitary Confinement, Washington Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs