Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice
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Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  4 reviews
This title provides an eye-opening look at the impact of the use of the criminal informant throughout the American legal system and beyond from the mafia and hip hop music to white collar crime and terrorism.
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published November 16th 2009 by New York University Press (first published November 1st 2009)
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Ernesto Aguilar
Incidents such as that of activist Brandon Darby informing on fellow activists, and the Tulia, Texas drug arrests scandal are but two examples of a trend that law enforcement has increasingly relied on as a method for policing, but which is increasingly returning disastrous results. The use of individuals to provide information leading to arrests, in exchange for lesser charges, but whose offered details are often fraught with inconsistencies, is the subject of Alexandra Natapoff's searing read...more
Mary Whisner
Informants are an important part of criminal investigations and prosecutions. In exchange for leniency or other benefits, one criminal can provide information that helps to convict others. But the use of informants bears risks for the integrity of the system and the safety of the community. Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola L.A., explores the practice and recommends reforms in Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice.

(In Snitching, Natapoff discusses only crimin...more
If you have ever thought about criminal justice, particularly around police and prosecutor discretion/misconduct, you can skip this book. If not and you're interested, it's a good, basic primer.

Overall, the book felt like a mediocre grad school research paper. I had high hopes, especially for the recommendation section, which turned out to be very rudimentary, but was really disappointed.
Jonathan Blanks
Absolute must-read for anyone studying American criminal justice.
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