The Effects Of Snitching


Snitching is a problematic practice which is practiced by the informants who generate undependable evidences, jeopardizing innocents, allowing criminals to escape, compromising with the police work integrity, and worsening tension between society and police. Society emboldens individuals to report to the police about the troublemakers and lawbreakers as a part of their social responsibility. On the contrary, individuals have learned that they should not interfere in others matters. Thus, the existence of these contradicting messages creates difficulty for the individuals who witness crimes whether to report or not about the criminal behavior to the police.

Effects of Snitching

The snitching has drastic effects which are not limited to the legal system; it can have caustic effects on the urban, high crime, and low income communities where a high ratio of pre-dominantly young African American residents are in contact with the criminal justice system and are pressurized to snitch. The law enforcers heavily rely on the snitching that creates pool of criminal informants. It results into increased crimes and threatens the social organization, social norms, legal norms and inter-personal relationships. Snitching is a scorn character which places individuals at risk of physical harm and social stigma. Some of the social groups consider snitch as a traitor who reveals the secrets of group and cooperates with the enemies (police). Hence, snitch is a backstabber.

The practice of snitching conflicts with the public accountability, predictability, and consistency. It negatively impacts on the law enforcement as the snitches are not always reliable. The lack of standards, judicial review and publicity of prosecutorial decisions along with immense power of executive institution is not consistent with the political accountability; subject to the excessive abuse. Snitching is affecting on the process of law enforcement as it influences the job role of prosecutors and police. Police and prosecutors receive information from the informants of their own society and their decisions are made in accordance with the choice of those informants. Moreover, crimes committed by snitches directly harm the society in which they live. These crimes include drug dealing, violence and destructive activities.


Recent developments in the use of snitching are drastically damaging the legal system as well as communities. It is undermining the publicity, accountability, and regularity within the criminal justice system. It is severely damaging low income and high income communities socially and psychologically. Therefore, the political system must be reevaluated by focusing on the needs of community.