Quote, "HOW FEDERAL INFORMANTS WORK
There was once a time when a group of people could get together, shout "informant" in unison, and slander the reputation of a political activist. With the emergence of the internet, and the easy availability of government records, it has become easy for any person to quickly determine whether someone has rendered substantial assistance to the government. Here, I will explain how federal informants work and how one can access information on them. I also urge people to stop treating this subject so lightly - rehabilitating actual dangerous informants, while using the term "informant" as a smear.
The US Department of Justice employs about 10,000 FBI field agents. FBI regulations require each agent to employ at least 4 confidential informants, and suggest 10 as an appropriate mean. This means that approximately 100,000 Americans work as informants for the FBI. When America's other 32 law enforcement agencies are considered, between 600,000 and 12 million Americans -- perhaps one out of every 200 adults -- works fulltime for the federal government reporting on other Americans.
Informants are paid approximately $400/week for their services. Thus, this profession tends to attract those for whom $1730 a month -- $20,800 a year -- is a substantial incentive. People who are not mentally ill or otherwise living on disability and welfare benefits, or people laboring at the lower echelons of drug organizations, tend to be particular recruitment targets, as are those who are otherwise unemployed. Informants also receive a bonus for convicting others -- generally, they receive $100 for every year of sentence a victim receives -- 20 years is a $2000 bonus, for instance.