Should Campus Police Be Using Students as Drug Informants?

ACADEME BLOG

Here are the opening paragraphs of an article that appeared in yesterday’s Boston Globe:

“The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced Monday that it will review aspects of a campus police department program that uses students as confidential drug informants, after a disclosure that an informant for the university police died of a heroin overdose.

“The university defended the program, but said it will review whether to require informants in drug cases to get help for possible addictions and whether to notify parents when a student is recruited into the program.”

From just these two paragraphs, any clear-thinking observer can very readily deduce that this “program” creates so many inherently problematic possibilities that they cannot possibly be outweighed by whatever positive results it might produce.

But it’s actually worse than those first two paragraphs might lead you to suspect. The student was initially arrested for possession of LSD, and the…

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