The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has established a website which allows law enforcement agencies to submit asset forfeiture reports, and ensures asset forfeiture information is publicly available, in accordance with the revised state asset forfeiture law which took effect this week.
Civil asset forfeiture is a procedure that authorizes law enforcement agencies to seize property and cash they allege is involved with certain criminal activity. Once a forfeiture proceeding concludes, the forfeited property or funds may be used for permissible law enforcement operations, or to further public safety objectives.
The Kansas Standard Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act was passed in 1994. During the 2018 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers amended the Act to require more detailed reporting. Now, extensive data from each seizure will be reported by law enforcement. In addition, agencies must file annual forfeiture fund reports that will include a more comprehensive accounting of the funds the agency received and the expenditures made.
Recent amendments to the Act also gave the KBI responsibility to develop the new law enforcement agency reports, establish a repository for the asset seizure and forfeiture records, and create a website for public access to the reported data. This public website can be found at kasfr.kbi.ks.gov, or linked from the KBI’s website, www.kansas.gov/kbi/.
The website will not immediately contain reported information since the law goes into effect today and allows law enforcement agencies 60 days to report any seizure that has completed final forfeiture action. Final forfeiture action includes cases with completed court proceedings, or any forfeiture case that was resolved by the agency prior to, or during, court proceedings.
As forfeiture incident reports and annual fund reports are submitted to the website, the reported data will be easily downloaded into Excel spreadsheets, and key information will be displayed in charts and graphs. The website is intended to allow policymakers and the public to have a greater picture of asset forfeiture activity in the state of Kansas.