BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
The Alabama Forfeiture Accountability System (AFAS) is a new database that will track and compile all state civil asset forfeiture cases in Alabama and generate reports for law makers, state officials and make useful information available to the public.
Beginning March 1, district attorney’s across the state will collect data related to asset forfeitures including filings, pleadings and court rulings and subsequently submit that information to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC)
The University of Alabama’s Center for the Advancement of Public Safety created the AFAS database for ACJIC to operate.
Attorney General Steve Marshall applauded the Alabama District Attorney Association Director Barry Matson for taking matters into his hands to ensure everything was accurate and above board.
In a brief telephone conversation with Director Mattson he said, “Transparency was the goal and that for future claims made by groups of impropriety can be easily dispelled. We’ve worked with the concerned citizen groups and they were on board with us.”
The reports will be available annually but eventually reports will be available quarterly.” Assistant District Attorney Steve Towns echoed the same comments saying it was about transparency.
The system had been an ongoing progress since last spring when legislation to create a data collection system for civil asset forfeiture system died when time ran out on the legislative session.