Sample Criminal Justice Paper on Records versus Informants

Records versus Informants

Question One

Generally, there are four broad sources of records that are used in identifying the perpetrator. These sources include records drawn from law enforcement organs, businesses both public limited and private limited, governmental organizations, and other miscellaneous sources. The records are maintained in the form of the files, photographs, diagrams, maps, presentations, patterns, individual relationships among others (Osterburg& Ward, 2014).In criminal justice, these records sources are useful to the investigator in extracting useful information about the perpetrator.

None of these records is capable of revealing the perpetrator’s MO commonly known as method of operation. The failure of any of the record types to reveal mode of operation led to the discovery of MO system that is designed for systematically analyzing the ingredients of a given crime as well as comparing the analyses from other crimes (Osterburg& Ward, 2014). The ultimate goal of MO system is to provide a formula that is capable of establishing the identity of the perpetrator.

Question Two

Information furnished by informants is associated with issues such as legality of the evidence provided by informants, corruption issues, preservation of confidential information and entrapment that makes it less reliable compared to other record types. Defense attorneys for instance have in the past raised issues for arrests made on the basis of information supplied by informants. Being an informant poses a great risk to an individual if the identity of the informant is revealed (Osterburg& Ward, 2014). This exerts fear to many informants and most fail to appear in courts to provide information. Entrapment arises when law enforcement agents induces innocent individuals with a motive of instituting criminal prosecution against them. As a result, most law enforcement agencies have resorted to corruption while seeking informants especially where the information supplied is incorrect

Massive corruption cases, entrapment, illegality of evidence furnished by informants in supporting cases in law courts, entrapment, failure to preserve confidentiality in order to prevent the informants from potential risks have emerged as the major weaknesses of informants as a reliable source of information(Turvey, 2012). Informants are human beings and may be affected by emotions and other behavioral changes. Due to these weaknesses, informants have become unreliable source of information. The benefits of records as a source of information are more than demerits associated with the same.



Osterburg, J. W., Ward, R. H., & Osterburg, J. W. (2014). Study guide – Criminal investigation:

A method for reconstructing the past, 7th edition / James W. Osterburg, Richard H.

Ward. New York: New York University.

Turvey, B. E. (2012). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis.

Amsterdam: Academic Press.