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Discussion Outline | “Snitch”

Discussion Question: What are the main definitions of the snitch and what do policy implications for urban black communities include?

Type of Discussion Question: Question of Fact

Definition of the Type of Discussion Question: Evidence can define what is true.

Discussion Outline:

I. – Key definitions/ideas we need to understand in our discussion.

A) What does the term “snitch” mean in general sense?

The name of “snitch” is often given to a person who reveals group secrets, or to traitor who is able to cooperate with some possible group’s enemies. Moreover, even taking into account the fact that society encourages people to say true and to tell everything about lawbreakers to authorities, including the police, nobody likes snitches because it is hard to trust these people.

B) Why a snitch is at risk of social stigma or physical harm?

C) What kind of behavior is usual to a snitch?

D) What is the snitch archetype within U.S. subcultures?

E) What does a message to “stop snitching” aimed at black urban youth mean?

It means that black youth need to avoid all contacts with police even in danger situations or when the speech is going about some crimes. Moreover, a “stop snitching” message explains that it is better to stay aside of crime than to cooperate with police because anti-snitching code, existing in black neighborhoods, forces representatives of a black community not report the police about crimes or criminals living the next door.

      II. – Discussion questions on consequences of the stop snitchin’ narrative for the criminal justice system.

A)   Why the police are seen as a kind of enemy in the frames of anti-snitch code?

B)   What steps have the police made to prove a black community the necessity to report about crimes?

C)   Is there a connection between the anti-snitch code and some types of academic dishonesty?

D)   What is necessary to do for the purpose to implement “start snitching” campaigns?

E)   What are the main goals of “start snitching” programs?

The main goals are to encourage people not to be afraid of police and to cooperate with the authorities, to report about crimes, and to build another type of relationships between representatives of black communities and the police. This will help to solve existing problems better, and to increase crime prevention, including improvement of overall situation in neighborhood.