CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bait and Snitch

Natapoffbw Loyola-LA CrimProf Alexandra Natapoff in  "From Baltimore to Boston to New York; in Pittsburgh, Denver, and Milwaukee, kids are sporting the ominous fashion statement, prompting local fear, outrage, and fierce arguments over crime. Several trials have been disrupted by the T-shirts; some witnesses refuse to testify. Boston's Mayor Thomas M. Menino has declared a ban: "We're going into every retail store that sells them," he declared to the Boston Globe, "and we're going to take them off the shelves." With cameo appearances in the growing controversy by NBA star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and the rapper Lil Kim, snitching is making urban culture headlines.  The "Stop Snitchin' " T-shirt drama looks, at first blush, like a dustup over a simple counterculture message launched by some urban criminal entrepreneurs: that friends don't snitch on friends. But it is, in fact, a symptom of a more insidious reality that has largely escaped public notice: For the last 20 years, state and federal governments have been creating criminal snitches and setting them loose in poor, high-crime communities. The backlash against snitches embodies a growing national recognition that snitching is dangerous public policy—producing bad information, endangering innocent people, letting dangerous criminals off the hook, compromising the integrity of police work, and inciting violence and distrust in socially vulnerable neighborhoods."  More . . .  [Mark Godsey]

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Good stuff. I like the picture you used in her profile better, though. ;)

Posted by: Scott | Dec 14, 2005 6:10:07 AM

Yeah, this policy of snitching is just one of many reforms we need in the legal system. Have you seen the PBS documentary, "Snitch" regarding how it is used in the War on Drugs? Fascinating stuff.

Oh and I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I'm thinking about doing a paralegal certification course through an online program like here:

href=""> Online Paralegal

Certification so I can keep working at the same time. Do you think these programs are a good idea?

Posted by: David Hunter | Jan 9, 2006 2:56:01 PM

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