Tag Archives: federal

United States of America (plaintiff) vs. $25,180.00 in United States Currency (defendant)

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.

SourceStop and Seize, the Washington Post

U.S. is One of Two Countries with No Federal Minimum Age for Criminal Responsibility

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

48% of Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Court Do Not Have Lawyers

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

Imprisonment To Pay Fees

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

 

Over Half of U.S. Prisoners Are Parents

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

Growth of Civil Asset Forfeiture

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

Bureau of Prisons Conception of Mental Illness

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.

SourceThe Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Abuses of Solitary Confinement, Washington Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs