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The Reid Technique is used by police and government investigators, security and loss prevention experts. Before the interrogation, investigators conduct a behavioral analysis interview to identify signs of deception. The interrogation steps are:
- Direct positive accusation:
- Confidently tell the subject the investigation indicates he/she is guilty;
- Assess subject’s verbal and nonverbal reaction to the accusation.
- Theme development:
- Offer justifications for subjects’ complicity but don’t offer legal ones;
- Contrast inexcusable motives with more understandable reasons;
- Support themes with stories of suspects who made similar mistakes;
- Emphasize the need for cooperation with role reversals.
- Handling denials:
- Talk over subjects and use gestures to cut off their interruptions;
- Consider that the subject may be innocent if the denials continue to be strong, sincere and voiced using realistic words.
- Overcoming objections:
- Express agreement or understanding when subjects offer an objection or excuse as they couldn’t be involved;
- Explain positive implications if it is true;
- Explain negative implications if it is not true.
- Attaining the subject’s attention:
- Subject is on the defensive and could become withdrawn;
- Move close to gain subjects’ attention and focus on your themes.
- Handling subject’s passive mood:
- Subject begins to show signs of defeat or remorse;
- Shorten the themes and lead toward the alternative question.
- Presenting the alternative question:
- Present two choices for subject’s involvement and contrast an acceptable sounding choice with an unacceptable one;
- Urge subjects to accept choice and stress the generally acceptable one.
- Obtaining the verbal confession:
- Express understanding if subject chooses one of the alternatives;
- Encourage subject to talk about aspects of the crime;
- Avoid leading questions and get details from interviewee that only the guilty would know;
- Have a witness to the verbal admission.
- Elements of the written confession: Convert verbal confession to a written or typed form and establish subject volunteered it.
Source: John E. Reid & Associates
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WHY WOULD A PERSON FALSELY CONFESS TO A CRIME?
STEPS TO ‘PEACE’ INTERVIEWING
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