The Reid Technique – Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence

The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation has evolved extensively over the last 75 years. Here is a brief overview:

  • Our company was founded in 1947 by John E. Reid.

John Reid and Fred Inbau (first Director of the Chicago Police Crime Laboratory) were instrumental in studying the interrogation process and developing a psychological approach that respected the individual - doing away with the “3rd degree”

  • They published the first edition of their seminal book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions in 1962……becoming the “Bible” of the profession. Subsequent editions were published in

1967 2nd ed

1986 3rd ed

2004 4th ed

2013 5th ed

This text (and many of our training materials) have been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, German and Turkish

  • The content of Criminal Interrogation and Confessions has expanded extensively over the years…… from 214 pages in 1962 to 469 pages in the 5th edition, to include:

Distinguishing True and False Confessions

Testifying on a Confession

Interrogation Research

Confession Voluntariness, Trustworthiness and Corroboration

How the Courts View the Testimony of False Confession Experts, and

How the Courts Confirm the Core Principles of the Reid Technique

  • The Core Principles of The Reid Technique:

Always treat the subject with dignity and respect

Always conduct interviews and interrogations in accordance with the guidelines established by the courts

Do not make any promises of leniency or threats of harm or inevitable consequences

Do not conduct interrogations for an excessively lengthy period of time

Do not deny the subject any of their rights

Do not deny the subject the opportunity to satisfy their physical needs

Exercise special cautions when questioning socially immature juveniles or individuals with mental or psychological impairments

  • Our Training Programs

Our initial training programs on The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation® were introduced in the mid 1970’s

The original 2-day training courses were eventually expanded to 4-day courses: The Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing and Advanced Interrogation Techniques

We increased our training schedule from doing 12 courses a year to conducting several hundred programs a year

  • International Training

We have conducted numerous international training programs, including for NATO, the Bavarian and Berlin Law Enforcement communities in Germany; and have conducted training programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Czech Republic; United Arab Emirates; Singapore; Japan; Mexico; Canada; Belgium; South Korea; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Djibouti; Sudan; Tanzania; Barbados; Hong Kong; Malaysia; Brazil; Italy; England; Norway; India; Philippines; Jamaica, Peru, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Amsterdam and Chile.

  • Specialized Training Programs that we have developed:

The Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing and Positive Persuasion™ (for non-law enforcement) (2012)

The Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing and Positive Persuasion for Child Abuse Investigations™ (2014)

Physical and Neglect Child Abuse Injury Reconstruction Techniques (2006)

Emerging Trends in Child Sexual Abuse Investigations (2006)

Reid Military Instructional Program in Non-Coercive Humint, Military Intelligence, and Counterintelligence Interviewing (2014)

Forensic Interviewing for Attorneys (2007)

The Reid P.E.A.C.E. Method of Investigative Interviewing (2019)

Hiring the Best-Applicant Interviewing Techniques and Strategies (1995)

  • Virtual Training Programs:

The Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing and Positive Persuasion™. (2020)

Hiring the Best: Applicant Interviewing Strategies (2021)

  • Published Books

In addition to our book Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, members of our staff have written the following books:

Essentials of the Reid Technique (2nd ed 2015)

How to Identify, Interview, and Motivate Child Abuse Offenders to Tell the Truth (2nd ed 2015)

Anatomy of Interrogation Themes (2nd ed 2015)

A Field Guide to The Reid Technique (2014)

Electronic Recording of Interrogations (2005)

The Investigator Anthology (2nd ed 2014)

  • Audio and Video Training Programs

Hiring the Best: Interviewing for Integrity (video)

Hiring the Best: Verifying the Employment Application (video)

The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation® (video)

Employee Theft – Application of the Reid Technique® (video)

Child Sexual Abuse – Application of the Reid Technique® (video)

Employee Theft Investigations (audio)

Interviewing Techniques for Harassment Investigations (audio)

Telephone Interviewing Techniques (audio)

Sexual Assault Interrogation (audio)

  • On-line Audio/Power Point Training Programs

The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation® for Investigators

The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation® for School Administrators

  • On-line Video Training Programs

The Reid Technique® for Patrol Officers

The Reid Technique® for Telephone Investigative Interviews

The Reid Technique® for Human Trafficking Interrogations

The Reid Technique® for Pre-Employment Interviewing Strategies

The Reid Technique® for Child Abuse Investigations Parts One and Two

  • The Reid Technique Tips – Our YouTube Channel

In 2020 we developed a YouTube channel - The Reid Technique Tips - which includes the following 6 playlists and video presentations:

1. Who We Are and What is The Reid Technique®

About the Company

Description of the Reid Technique

The Core Principles of the Reid Technique

Best Practices

Research confirming the Reid Technique process

2. Interviewing

Preparing for the Interview

Proper Room Setting

Using Open-ended Questions Part One

Using Open-ended Questions Part Two

There is no behavior Unique to Lying

The Value of Behavior Provoking Questions: A Case Study

Do Not Tell the Subject What You Know

Cognitive Interviewing

Key Principles to Keep in Mind When Conducting an Interview

3. Interrogation

Positive Persuasion

Empathy and Understanding

Projection and Rationalization

Minimization and Maximization

Gang Crime Interrogations

Questioning Juvenile Offenders

The Value of Recording Interrogations

What is the Non-Confrontational Approach?

Guilt Presumptive Approach, Privacy and the Purpose of an Interrogation

4. False Confession Issues

Clarifying Misrepresentations about Law Enforcement Interrogation Techniques

What Questions to ask to Determine the Voluntariness and Validity of a Subject's Confession

False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered Part One

False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered Part Two

Is it permissible to Lie to a Suspect about Evidence?

5. Pre-Employment Interviews

The Biggest Mistake We Can Make When Interviewing Job Applicants

Creating an Environment Conducive to Truth-Telling

6. About Our Courses

  • The Courts and the Reid Technique®

U. S. Supreme Court Recognition – In June 2004 in the case of Missouri v. Seibert, the United States Supreme Court referenced our company and our book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, as examples of law enforcement resources that offered proper training regarding the Miranda Warnings.

In 1994 the United States Supreme Court referenced our textbook, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, in making their decision in the case Stansbury v. California.

Courts throughout the country have recognized The Reid Technique® as the leading interview and interrogation approach used today.

Use this link for a detailed list of cases.

The courts reject the suggestion that the Reid Technique is in any way coercive, as stated in U.S. v. Jacques:

In sum, the proffered expert testimony to the effect that the Reid technique enhanced the risk of an unreliable confession lacked any objective basis for support whatever. Although Professor Hirsch insisted that “there is a wealth of information about the risks of the Reid technique,” he could point to none.”

Courts have admonished investigators when they have not followed our suggested guidelines and procedures. In People v. Elias (June 2015) the Appeals Court pointed out that the investigators:

Did not conduct a non-accusatory interview before initiating an interrogation

The Courts and the Reid Technique®

Misrepresented the case evidence when questioning a socially immature 13-year-old

Did not include any corroboration in the incriminating statement

Contaminated the statement by disclosing details of the crime

In US v. Preston (May 2014) the US Court of Appeals stated, “Under the totality of the circumstances, including Preston's intellectual disability, we conclude that the confession that resulted from this questioning was involuntarily given and should not have been admitted at trial."

In referencing our book Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, the Court pointed out that “the officers, however, sometimes disregarded the manual's cautions about the tactics they used” [re: questioning an intellectually challenged 13-year-old]. .”

  • Our Expertise

Our expertise on the topic of behavior symptom analysis, interviewing and interrogation techniques was recognized by the National Security Agency which awarded John E. Reid and Associates (in conjunction with Michigan State University) a sole source bid for a scientific study on the use of behavior symptoms in the detection of deception. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

  • Exonerating the Innocent

Over the years John E. Reid and Associates has assisted the Innocence Project (New York) on several cases as expert witnesses on proper interview and interrogation techniques, as well as the exoneration of one of their clients by obtaining a confession from the actual offender. This case was detailed in the story, “I Did It” in New York magazine (

We have also assisted other attorneys in wrongful conviction cases.

  • Reid - The Gold Standard

Reid as the Gold Standard - In the Netflix series, Making a Murderer Part 2, (2018) the interrogation of Brendan Dassey is discussed during the first 15 minutes of Episode 2 by the attorneys who represented Dassey in his appeals.

The two attorneys are shown on screen giving a presentation to lawyers at Northwestern University Law School, discussing the Dassey interrogation. During their presentation they reference John E. Reid and Associates as the benchmark for proper interrogation practices and procedures.

  • International Research

Over the years numerous international research studies have been conducted on the Reid Technique - research from Japan, Korea, Spain, Canada and the US. All of the studies establish the validity of various core elements of the Reid Technique, including research from the High Value Detainee Group which was established by President Obama in 2009.

Created the Investigator Tips on - currently we have over 180 Tips posted

In 1999 created The Reid Institute – a membership organization of Reid graduates

All of us at John E. Reid and Associates want to thank you for your support as we continue to present the finest training in the world.