Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is standing by UMass over the case of a student who worked as a confidential informant, before overdosing on heroin.
The student was caught dealing LSD and the club drug Molly, and agreed to work as an informant for UMass police, to avoid punishment or his parents finding out.
Ten months later, he died of an overdose.
The details came out in a Boston Globe story, with the student’s mother angry at the university for not keeping the family informed.
Asked if UMass officials should’ve done more to help the student, Patrick says he supports the school.
“You know, I don’t know enough about the details to second-guess them,'” Patrick told reporters Tuesday. “But I know that there’s a lot of emphasis on trying to understand what the facts are, and get underneath them, to communicate with the family, who I think have a lot of justifiable questions.”
UMass officials in a statement say they did not know the student was using heroin, and twice offered him assistance. They say they’re reviewing the policy for using students as informants in drug cases, including whether to require treatment and whether to contact parents.
While the school is considering those changes, UMass police will not use any more students as confidential informants. That’s according to an email the school’s chancellor sent Tuesday evening to UMass students and staff.
Updated with new information at 10:42 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2014.
New England Public Radio’s Sarah Birnbaum contributed to this report.