What interview and interrogation techniques work best for law enforcement? Image Source: Flickr user Krystian Olszanski. When you have a defensive, hostile, or frightened individual in front of you, it becomes difficult to initiate a dialogue. Most investigators attempt to build rapport at the outset, but once it becomes clear the suspect or witness is not cooperating, the relationship often becomes more adversarial. Present methods of truth verification rely more on technology, physiological and psychological analysis, and best practices in questioning techniques. John E.
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What interview and interrogation techniques work best for law enforcement? Image Source: Flickr user Krystian Olszanski. When you have a defensive, hostile, or frightened individual in front of you, it becomes difficult to initiate a dialogue.
Most investigators attempt to build rapport at the outset, but once it becomes clear the suspect or witness is not cooperating, the relationship often becomes more adversarial. Present methods of truth verification rely more on technology, physiological and psychological analysis, and best practices in questioning techniques. John E. Reid was instrumental in structuring the questions used in polygraph examinations, which, in the past, was the truth verification system of choice.
Reid was a former Chicago police officer who started his own polygraph consultation business in At the time, the interrogation process used during a polygraph had not been standardized. While the Reid Technique was a step in the right direction, it is flawed.
Investigators using the Reid Technique first use less confrontational interview techniques, but, if there is evidence of guilt, the approach becomes more accusatory. The more aggressive nature may be why this system has been found to elicit false confessions , especially in juveniles.
One of the first instances of a false confession that led to conviction occurred in when John Reid interrogated Darrel Parker and gave him a polygraph exam. Parker chose to be paroled rather than go through another trial.
In , Juan A. Rivera, Jr. Rivera confessed after several days of interrogation using the Reid Technique.
He was also given two polygraphs, which provided inconclusive results. It should be noted that Rivera had an IQ of Rivera was exonerated after almost 20 years in prison. Rivera was awarded the largest settlement for wrongful conviction in the U. There are many stories in which the Reid Technique has resulted in confessions.
Thankfully, however, the law enforcement community is always searching for ways to improve the accuracy of interview and interrogation outcomes and reduce the chances of false confessions. This is why many police agencies are transitioning to systems such as the CVSA which allow investigators to question suspects in a less aggressive manner.
Both the Reid Technique and the polygraph are designed in such a way that a suspect or a witness feels uncomfortable the moment they step into the interrogation or polygraph room. The clinical setting creates a tense environment in which an innocent suspect or witness might feel defensive from the start. CVSA examinations can be conducted in any room and the individual being examined is provided with some comforts, whether that means a more comfortable chair, a room with a window, or relaxing images on the wall.
This is especially important when interviewing witnesses or victims of sexual assault or other highly traumatic cases. Another concern regarding both the Reid Technique and the polygraph is the lengthy, stressful interrogation methods they both employ.
However, CVSA examinations only take about 45 minutes on average, and the conversational tone allows suspects or witnesses to come into the process more relaxed and willing to participate. There are many examples of the effectiveness of the CVSA approach. Detectives ruled him out and continued their investigation. Eventually they caught the real killer, Fredrick Cox, who was later convicted of three murders.
In this case, the time saved by ruling out an innocent man may have meant the difference between life and death for more victims. Law enforcement is also under more scrutiny , with cameras in interrogation rooms and justice organizations focusing on wrongful convictions. Everyone in law enforcement is committed to developing positive techniques that produce results, and the CVSA team of experts embodies those principles.
When truth verification is the goal, it serves the best interests of all parties in the criminal justice system to ensure investigative results are accurate and obtained without psychological or other forms of coercion. The Reid Technique vs. Search for:. Recent Comments.
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By: James Orlando, Associate Attorney. This report provides a concise overview of 1 the Reid method of interrogation, 2 critiques of the Reid method, and 3 alternative interrogation techniques. The Reid method is a system of interviewing and interrogation widely used by police departments in the United States. Reid and Associates, Inc. According to the company ' s website, over , law enforcement and security professionals have attended the company ' s interview and interrogation training programs since they were first offered in Some critics contend that the Reid Technique is premised on certain assumptions about human behavior that are not supported by empirical evidence, and that the technique may lead to false confessions. The company contends that critics mischaracterize the Reid Technique and that false confessions are caused by interrogators applying inappropriate methods not endorsed by the company.
The Reid technique is the basis of the widely used "Criminal Interrogation and Confessions" manual we already mentioned. It lays out nine steps or issues guiding interrogation. Many of these steps overlap, and there is no such thing as a "typical" interrogation; but the Reid technique provides a blueprint of how a successful interrogation might unfold. Confrontation The detective presents the facts of the case and informs the suspect of the evidence against him.
How Police Interrogation Works
On December 14, , Darrel Parker came home for lunch from his job as a forester in Lincoln, Nebraska. A recent graduate of Iowa State, he had moved to Lincoln with his wife, Nancy, who worked as a dietician for a flour-and-noodle company and had a cooking show on the local television station. He found her dead in their bedroom. Her face was battered, her hands and feet were bound, and a cord had been knotted around her neck. The medical examiner later determined that she had been raped before the murder. Parker called the police and spent the next several days in a fog of grief and sedation.