• SNITCHING: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice
  • U.S. Attorney General's Guidelines on the FBI's Use of Confidential Human Sources
  • Sarah Stillman, The Throwaways, The New Yorker (2012) (article on the use of juvenile informants)

Recent Blog Posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

Student Informants

A series of recent news articles have documented the use of college student informants by campus and local police.  A 20-year-old student named Logan at U. Mass Amherst was permitted to continue his drug habit, and keep the secret from his parents, by becoming an informant.  He died from a heroin overdose.  From the Boston Globe story, "UMass police helped keep student's addiction secret":

   Campus police agreed not to seek criminal charges against Logan or notify his parents after he agreed to become a confidential informant, code named “CI-8,” something Logan called “an offer I can’t refuse” in a text message to a friend. In December 2012, Logan led police to another dealer — who was immediately arrested and suspended — while Logan remained a student in good standing. Police even refunded $700 they had seized from his room, which he immediately used to buy drugs, according to another text to a friend.

At several University of Wisconsin campuses, police acknowledge converting students  into informants who have been arrested for drugs.  According to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism,

  One UW-Whitewater student used as a confidential informant, speaking on condition of anonymity, says he was arrested for selling marijuana and ended up buying ecstasy. Within three hours of his arrest, he says a campus detective searched his phone, identified potential targets and had him sign an agreement.  The student, facing felony charges, says he made multiple controlled buys on campus.

These stories follow on the heels of developments at the U.S. Air Force Academy where a student informant program was dismantled after it was made public by the Colorado Springs Gazette.  Post here.