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Interrogation: Some Keys to Success

NCJ Number
Trooper Dated: Fall 2001 Pages: 69-71,43,75,76
John E. Hess
Date Published
6 pages
This article presents strategies and techniques to aid in developing successful interrogations.
The article claims that nothing has yet replaced persuasion as the most effective method for obtaining confessions. Persuasion means establishing credibility and then providing logical and/or emotional reasons for the person to behave in a certain way. The article suggests that interrogators must have an understanding of human nature and use it to select the optimum time and location for an interview; set the scene appropriately; choose the proper approach; and maintain enough flexibility to adapt and change when it becomes apparent that particular ideas are not working. Interrogators can attempt to obtain a minor admission and use that as a starting point to ultimately arrive at the truth. The skills needed for interviewing subjects are not learned by reading a book or listening to a lecture. They are acquired over a long period of time by individuals who conduct a large number of interviews and, while doing so, continue to study human nature, criminal personalities, interviewing techniques, and the art of listening.