Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jennifer Lavoie

Advisor Role

Helped with every step of the project

Second Advisor

Nikolai Kovalev

Advisor Role

Helped with every step of the project


Criminal justice systems in Canada and around the world have been established to deal with matters that require attention, punishment, and justice. An important function of criminal justice systems is the evaluation of evidence presented in the court of law. Evidence from jailhouse informants who testify that they have been privy to confessions of crimes is a contentious issue. Much of the scholarly literature available to date on wrongful conviction cases focuses on causes of insufficient and unreliable evidence obtained through different techniques and from different sources. Despite the high number of investigations into wrongful conviction cases, the subject of jailhouse informants has not yet been thoroughly explored as a leading cause of wrongful convictions in Canada. The current study employed a qualitative methodology in analyzing reported criminal cases that have used jailhouse informant’s testimony in order to find parallels with respect to cases, informants, and testimonies. The findings center on the credibility of evidence, the trustworthiness of informants, judicial cautions and the consequences that followed the use of such evidence. While jailhouse informants have been identified as a cause of wrongful convictions, there have been few studies that provide insight into these cases in Canada. The present study focuses exclusively on the influence of jailhouse informants (also known as in-custody informants) and their role and impact on decision-making in criminal trials. Further implications of the findings on potential miscarriages of justice are also discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season