SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni has initiated a program aimed at making neighborhoods safer through the use of drug forfeiture money.

The court can order the forfeiture of money and property at the request of the district attorney’s office after convictions for drug offenses. Prosecutors can also initiate civil forfeiture proceedings to seize property and money involved in illegal drug activity.

Prosecutors use the money in a variety of ways in an effort to reduce crime and make communities safer.

Mastroianni’s office says he may distribute a portion of the funds to qualified community organizations that focus on drug education, drug rehabilitation and other anti-drug or neighborhood watch programs.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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