Jailhouse informants are thought to be one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions. The current studies examined community members’ (E1: N = 99; E2: N = 289) willingness to provide false testimony as a jailhouse informant. In E1, participants were all presented a first offer (1-year sentence reduction) to testify as a jailhouse informant. Those who declined were presented up to three additional offers (four total): a complete reduction in fines, total immunity, and financial support in exchange for testimony. In E2, participants were presented with one of two offers (levels 1 or 4). Notably, 27% (E1) and 17% (E2) of participants were willing to falsely testify against another inmate. Willing participants rated themselves as overall less credible and more interested in serving their own interests than unwilling participants. In addition, cognitive networks of participants’ decision-making revealed that participants were motivated primarily by self-interest. These findings provide novel insight into the decision-making of jailhouse informants and are discussed in terms of legal implications.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology|
|State||Published - Mar 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022, Society for Police and Criminal Psychology.
- Criminal justice system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology