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Clarifying Misrepresentations About Law Enforcement Interrogation Techniques

March / April 2018 (click here for printable version)

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Over the years social psychologists, defenses attorneys and some academicians have offered a number of criticisms of current law enforcement interrogation practices, and, in particular, the Reid Technique. Some of these criticisms are:
  • the goal of an interrogation is to get a confession whether it is true or not
  • investigators use minimization tactics in which they offer the suspect leniency if he confesses, and harsher punishment (maximization) if he does not
  • investigators oftentimes interrogate innocent people whom they have erroneously classified as guilty
  • investigators use coercive tactics and procedures to secure confessions
  • investigators feed crime details to the suspect so that the authenticity of their incriminating statements is difficult to assess
  • investigators lie to the suspect about evidence
  • investigators do not modify their tactics when questioning juveniles or mentally impaired individuals
  • the interrogation is designed to make the suspect feel isolated and hopeless so that he sees no way out except to confess
  • the Reid Technique is a guilt presumptive approach
In this Investigator Tip we will address each of these criticisms and set the record straight as to exactly what we teach with respect to law enforcement interrogation techniques, and the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation in particular. Click here for the complete March April 2018 Investigator Tip

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