Too often, young people in the United States who become involved in the criminal justice system as informants and witnesses are not afforded the protections they need and deserve, and risk being murdered for providing critical information in the pursuit of an arrest or conviction. The immediate adoption of state legislation to protect children who serve as informants or are compelled to testify as witnesses in criminal cases is imperative to avoid the loss of young lives. Such legislation should be compelled via restrictions on state access to federal funds for witness protection, law enforcement, and judicial programs until appropriate legislation is enacted. The government has a legitimate interest in protecting the safety of children, and thus appropriate levels of screening and protection on a case-by-case basis must be implemented. This Note analyzes the history of children serving as informants and witnesses, examines potential solutions for protecting such children, and advocates for legislation to ensure the safety of children who become involved in the criminal justice system as informants and witnesses and recommends a three-pronged approach to achieve that goal.
Looking Out for the Little Guy: Protecting Child Informants and Witnesses,
26 J. L. & Pol'y
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/jlp/vol26/iss2/5