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Prosecutor Advises Colleagues on Management of Informants

NCJ Number
Prosecutor Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: (Fall 1989) Pages: 21-25,27-28
W D Holman
Date Published
7 pages
After identifying various types of informants, this article instructs prosecutors in the general management of informants and in the management of each type of informant.
Types of informants are anonymous informants, passive unpaid citizen informants, active unpaid citizen informants, unwitting informants, paid informants, and criminal informants. Prosecutors must first identify the types of informants in each case to ensure that they are properly managed. Some issues in managing informants are who makes the decision to use various types of informants, the mistake of using informants that are more culpable than defendants, prosecutor-police relations, and informant interviews. In discussing how much to promise an informant and when, the article instructs prosecutors in the use of formal informant agreements that specify the rights and obligations of the informant and the prosecutor. Conditions for informant agreements are addressed. Other topics discussed are special precautions for paid informants, the control of criminal informants, and the maintenance of records on benefits given informants.


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