Check out this interview with Nick Taiber, former City Council member in Cedar Falls, Iowa, who became an drug informant when he was a teenager, and Luke Hunt, former FBI agent and now professor. Taiber describes how police pressured him at age 17 to become an informant after a car accident. Hunt says “What’s most troubling to me is a very common scenario in which the police compel an informant to do certain operational acts because they have a tremendous amount of power and leverage over the person.” More here from Slate: How Police Turn Teens Into Informants.
The past few years have seen new attention to the youth informant phenomenon. Sarah Stillman’s tour-de-force article The Throwaways came out in the New Yorker in 2012; since then there have been numerous media stories regarding college students and other young people pressured into become informants, often with terrible consequences for them and their families.