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Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation Training: A Preliminary Evaluation of Program Efficacy

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 33 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2006 Pages: 56-69
Vincent B. Van Hasselt; Monty T. Baker; Stephen J. Romano; Kari M. Schlessinger; Marc Zucker; Romina Dragone; Aimee L. Perera
Date Published
February 2006
14 pages
This empirical study assessed the efficacy of the crisis (hostage) negotiation training offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Overall, the findings indicate that current crisis negotiation training methods are useful in developing negotiation skills among officers. Results indicated significant differences in the pre- and post-tests completed by 45 special agent program participants before and after completing the crisis negotiation training. The findings indicated significant improvements in nearly all of the active listening skills for program participants and decreases in attempts to problem solve, which was noted as detrimental during early phases of negotiation. The FBI’s 2-week National Crisis Negotiation Course at the FBI Academy presents a multiple-component, behavioral program that focuses on active listening skills and other critical competencies required to successfully diffuse and resolve crisis situations. Evaluation methodology involved the completion of a crisis negotiation role-play by all 45 participants both before and after the training course. Data included a demographic questionnaire and observations and recordings of participants’ behavior in the role-play test of their crisis negotiation skills. Data were analyzed by rating the behavioral components of crisis negotiation skill as identified by previous researchers, such as active listening skills, response duration, and problem solving. Future research should focus on the development of strategies for negotiator training and outcome evaluation. Tables, appendix, references