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Resource ID: #26629
Student journalists in Professor Steve Fox's Investigative Journalism & The Web class uncovered that the University of Massachusetts Amherst police use confidential informants, potentially putting students' safety at risk. Officers were allowing students to avoid campus and criminal consequences for drug offenses in return for becoming police informers, allowing some students to conceal dangerous drug habits from their families. After months of investigation, student journalists Eric Bosco and Kayla Marchetti reported that a UMass student who agreed to become a confidential informant to avoid a drug arrest, died of a heroin overdose. Publication of the student's death lead prosecutors to reopen the investigation into the overdose death after the student's mother gave them the name of the student she believes provided him with the drug.