Resources

  • 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

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Georgia prison official loses his job for objecting to informant program

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia prison captain Sherman Maine was fired when he objected to a secret, off-the-books informant program being run in high security prisons in which informants were given cell phones.  From the story:

"Maine said the secrecy of the program makes it impossible to know if the reward is worth the risk. 'Now every stabbing becomes suspect,' said Maine, 45. 'We won’t know who’s an informant or not. They’re going to get someone killed, if they haven’t already.' . . .  Maine said [the program] reveals a lack of respect for human life while exposing the state to great liability. 'They de-value human life to the point that it’s ridiculous,' he said. 'The state kept referring to (informants) as tools. They’re not tools, they’re people, and we have an obligation to protect them.'”

Maine is suing the Department of Corrections for violations of the Georgia Whistleblower Act.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Multimillion-dollar drug bounties for informants

Bloomberg recently explored the State Department's Narcotics Reward Program which offers bounties for information on high-ranking drug traffickers: America’s Multimillion-Dollar Bounty Program Just for Drug Lords.   As always, the program accepts the risk of rewarding and protecting serious, violent criminals in exchange for information about other potentially more serious, violent criminals.  As the article notes, "[c]ritics of the government’s rewards programs warn that huge cash bounties increase cartel violence and encourage corruption among U.S. law enforcement personnel. But the program’s success is hard to dismiss, its proponents contend."  Other agencies, including the IRS and the SEC, offer large bounties to informants as well.