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ACLU Claims NJ Cops Misuse Informants

June 28, 2011  | 

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has slammed the state's law enforcement agencies' use of criminal informants in a newly released report.

The report, which came after a three-year investigation by the ACLU, claims New Jersey agencies have a disjointed, confusing, and, in some cases, nonexistent policies on how New Jersey law enforcement agencies use confidential informants.

The report claims that "innocent civilians may also find themselves under immense pressure to give federal, state, or local authorities information about the criminal activities of their neighbors, friends, or family members," according to the report. "The findings indicate that fear of criminal prosecution, monetary incentives and other inducements may motivate both criminal suspects and non-criminals to provide information that is not totally accurate."

Of the 93 municipal police agencies contacted, 21 said they had no policy on CIs, according to the ACLU. Many county prosecutors and police departments said they go by the state attorney general's policy, but cited different manuals as that policy's source.

Within the 82-page reports, the ACLU issued 10 pages of recommendations for developing a single, uniform policy to train all law enforcement officers who use confidential informants.

Read the full ACLU report.


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