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

Monday, June 1, 2020

How police turn teens into informants

Check out this interview with Nick Taiber, former City Council member in Cedar Falls, Iowa, who became an drug informant when he was a teenager, and Luke Hunt, former FBI agent and now professor.  Taiber describes how police pressured him at age 17 to become an informant after a car accident.  Hunt says "What’s most troubling to me is a very common scenario in which the police compel an informant to do certain operational acts because they have a tremendous amount of power and leverage over the person." More here from Slate: How Police Turn Teens Into Informants

The past few years have seen new attention to the youth informant phenomenon.  Sarah Stillman's tour-de-force article The Throwaways came out in the New Yorker in 2012; since then there have been numerous media stories regarding college students and other young people pressured into become informants, often with terrible consequences for them and their families.