snitch jacket means: These are the bruises that result from beating down informants. They are usually kept in prison to protect their torsos so that the screws won’t see them. The head of the street is commonly included. (in Community Dictionary, added by Fernando Garza)

What else does snitch jacket mean?

  • Covering your head with your shirtcloth while you leave the courthouse after informing someone. (in Community Dictionary, added by Tamara Howe)
  • It is a reputation for being an informant. This is both used in street slang and police jargon. This is not a jacket, as in a clothing. It’s also not being beat up even though it might result in being beaten. The jacket is made from “file jackets”, which were worn by police officers before computerization. This phrase is partly inspired by the tactics used by police to threaten criminals who refuse to cooperate with them. Often, the reason that a criminal doesn’t snitch because they fear it will reach the streets and place him at risk is the fact that it won’t. Police officers are threatening to make correctional officers and publicize the fact that someone is a “jacket” claiming they are an informant, in order to convince them to report. A “snitch jacketed” informant is usually a willing one. (in Community Dictionary, added by Noel Goodman)