Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stephen L. Mallory
Criminal investigation is a very complex process that requires gathering an enormous amount of information. A significant portion of this information is acquired by law enforcement personnel through the development and management of informants. Both academics and law enforcement professionals suggest that 90 to 95 percent of criminal cases are brought to a successful conclusion through the development and use of informants. The term informant may be defined as a person, directed by law enforcement and usually compensated, who furnishes information regarding unlawful activity or performs tasks as specified by law enforcement investigators. Informants may also be referred to as “cooperating individuals” (CIs), “confidential sources,” or simply “sources.” They may be street-level criminals, including members of street gangs, or professionals who may or may not have involved themselves in some type of criminal activity—airline employees, bankers, and even attorneys or law enforcement personnel can be recruited as informants. The value ...