Tuesday, February 9, 2016
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Institute for Policy Innovation
1320 Greenway Drive

On February 9, 2016, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Right on Crime, in partnership with The Institute for Policy Innovation, will host a policy summit followed by 
a cocktail reception in Dallas, TX.

Civil asset forfeiture is a mechanism that allows a very low burden of proof before law enforcement is able to seize property from individual citizens and businesses. The assets can then be re-purposed, often providing funding for the very law enforcement agency that seized it. While forfeiture began as a way to put criminal gains to a useful purpose, this government function has been expanded much too far, and now endangers individual rights and the integrity of law enforcement.


4:00 pm to 5:15 pm – Panel I
5:15 pm to 5:30 pm – Break
5:30 pm to 6:45 pm – Panel II
6:45 pm to 8:00 pm – Cocktail Reception


Panel I – When Innocence Does Not Help: How to Communicate about Civil Asset Forfeiture
Civil Asset Forfeiture is an issue shrouded in complexity and lack of understanding from the public. On this panel we will cut through the confusion and teach you how to communicate about this important issue.

Rep. Matt Schaefer
Texas House of Representatives
District 6

Matt is the current Texas State Representative for District 6. Schaefer is assigned to the Defense & Veterans' Affairs and Urban Affairs committees. He attended Cisco Junior College, where he played football. Then he attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where he obtained a bachelor's degree in finance and a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.


Matt Simpson
Senior Policy Strategist
American Civil Liberties Union

Matt has served as a policy strategist at the ACLU of Texas since 2008. He advocates for civil rights and civil liberties at the state legislature and assists with local campaigns related to criminal justice reform, such as prison and jail policy, law enforcement information sharing, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.



Jason Pye
Director of Communications & Director of Justice Reform

Jason Pye is the Director of Communications and the Director of Justice Reform at FreedomWorks. When he’s not fighting for the cause of liberty, he enjoys listening to punk rock, playing his guitars, watching baseball, and dreaming of the day the University of Georgia football team brings home a national championship.



Dan Isett – Moderator
Communications Director
Right on Crime, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Dan is Communications Director of Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Isett served as Director of Communications and Policy for the Parents Television Council, Director of External Affairs at The Center for Education Reform and Executive Director of the Texas Home School Coalition. 



Panel II – Understanding Forfeiture Policy:  A Muddled History and a Path Forward
Most Americans do not understand why the government can take your property without so much as a criminal allegation, or how such a practice is constitutional.  On this panel we will discuss the history of forfeiture in the United States and in Texas, and what solutions might be employed to curtail abuses of the practice.

Sen. Konni Burton
Texas State Senate 
DIstrict 10

Konni is the current Texas State Senator for District 10. She is assigned to the Veteran Affairs & Military Installations and Criminal Justice committees. Konni attended the University of North Texas, earning a BBA in Marketing. It was at UNT that Senator Burton also met her husband of 30 years, Phillip.


Sen. Don Huffines 
Texas State Senate
District 16

Don is a fifth generation Texan, whose family has a strong legacy of hard work and faith in God. He has been married for 28 years to Mary Catherine and has four sons and one daughter. His business, Huffines Communities, is one of the largest real-estate land developers in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. 


Dr. Merrill Matthews
Senior Policy Strategist
Institute for Policy Innovation

Merrill is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation.  Prior to joining IPI in 2000, he was VP of Domestic Policy for the National Center for Policy Analysis. He also serves as the vice chairman of the Texas Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.



Brad Cates
Attorney, Former State Legislator – New Mexico
Former Director of the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Office

Brad is a privacy advocate, espousing adherence to fundamental constitutional freedoms, including free speech, and opposition to warrantless searches or seizures. He occasionally publishes articles on these subjects. Additionally, he serves as Counsel, House Judiciary Committee, NM Legislature.


Derek Cohen – Moderator
Deputy Director
Right on Crime, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Derek is Deputy Director of Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Cohen graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, where he is currently completing his Ph.D. dissertation on the long-term costs and outcomes associated with correctional programming. 


Not in the Dallas area? This event will be livestreamed.
Click here to watch LIVE

For questions contact Shannon Tracy – [email protected]