Investigator Tip for July-August 2011 - What Exactly is the Reid Technique of Interrogation?

Written By: Reid
Jul 01, 2011
Part One

Despite the availability of specific information in books, training manuals and on our web site about the Reid Technique of interrogation, it is routinely mis-characterized. The following description from an article by Gudjonsson and Pearse is representative.1

The Reid Technique of interrogation consists of essentially three steps. Custody and isolation (i.e., the suspect is detained and isolated, anxiety and uncertainty are generated in order to weaken resistance).Confrontation (i.e., the suspect's guilt is assumed and he or she is confronted with alleged incriminating evidence that may or may not be genuine; denials are rejected, even if they happen to be true, and the consequence of continued denial is emphasized), and minimization (i.e., the interrogator tries to gain the suspect's trust and provides face-saving excuses for the crime, including suggesting that it was an accident or that the victim deserved it)."
Gudjonsson wrote this article as an attempt identify which questioning procedure, the Reid Technique or the PEACE model (which is essentially a non-accusatory interview) produced more false confessions. Indeed, this is an important area of research, but to accurately answer the question, the techniques must be correctly described. This web tip will identify which aspects of Gudjonsson's description are accurate and which are not.

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