Effective interrogation techniques that elicit useful information are those that start with the creation of rapport between the suspect and the interrogator. This process involves establishment of authority. The interrogator outlines the situation. Both the interviewer and the suspect know what the issue is, who is in charge and also what is at stake. The process should create confidence between both parties. The more the trust, the more the suspect will give true information. The suspect should then be told the importance of opening up. Reasons include threat of danger outside police custody, jail time or even moral pressure.
Other things at stake involve safety of the suspect’s family. Suspects are likely to protect their families from any harm. They will then give true information, considering that false information may lead to harm to their loved ones. Such threats are incentive enough to give true information (Ofshe & Leo, 1997). The Reid technique involves investigation with emphasis on factual analysis and behavioral response. The questions asked are intended to provoke behavior, so that the interrogator judges whether or not there is guilt in the suspect. The aim is to indicate that all evidence points to the suspect, and that the suspect needs to confess (Buckely, 2013).
Interrogations that mostly lead to false confessions are primarily aimed at soliciting information while disregarding whether the suspect is guilty or not. They are mostly flawed and they are not recorded. Suspects are likely to issue contradicting statements (Ofshe & Leo, 1997).
When suspects are physically abused, they may give false information in order to save themselves from anxiety, panic or pain. In addition, they will acknowledge that they cannot prove any innocence to the interrogator; that the interrogator has already made up his/her mind. These forms of interrogation do not produce legitimate confessions and should not be used.
Forensic psychologists can be very helpful to law enforcement officers. They should advise on the appropriate moment to use psychological methods of interrogation. These can be influential in getting information. The psychologist also knows that the suspect may be convinced that they have been caught and that their situations are hopeless. They are then likely to give false information (Ofshe & Leo, 1997). After suspects confess, they should help the authorities arrest their criminal friends. These suspects should be protected by the state and helped to reform.
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