Legislation

It is an exciting time for criminal informant law. State and federal governments have begun examining and, in some cases, changing the law pertaining to informant use. Over the past few years, there have been numerous studies, commissions, hearings, and legislative proposals aimed at improving the reliability and accountability of informant policies. Below is a partial list of jursidictions and their efforts, with links to statutes, bills, reports, and other legislative materials where available. Additional background is available under the LEGISLATION section on SNITCHING BLOG.

For those interested in reforming informant law in your jurisdiction, the Model Bill contains legislative proposals on a wide range of issues, from reliability hearings to protections for juveniles.

Model Legislation & Policy

Reports

U.S./Federal Legislation & Materials

California

Florida

Illinois

  • Ill. Comp. Stat. ch. 725, s. 5/115-21(d) (requiring reliability hearings and heightened discovery for jailhouse informants)

Maryland

  • Maryland Code, Crim. Law 9-302 & Cts. and Judicial Proceedings 10-901 (increased penalties for witness intimidation and new hearsay rules permitting statements from absent witnesses)

New Jersey

New York

Pennsylvania

  • H.B. 793 (2015) (provides witness protection measures for confidential informants; requires police to provide potential informants with opportunity to consult with counsel; requires parental consent for juvenile informants; bars use of informants with chronic substance abuse problems)

Texas

Washington