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Investigative Interviewing as a Therapeutic Jurisprudential Approach (From International Developments in Investigative Interviewing, P 149-175, 2009, Tom Williamson, Becky Milne, and Stephen P. Savage, eds. - See NCJ-228326)

NCJ Number
Ulf Holmberg
Date Published
27 pages
Based on a therapeutic jurisprudential perspective, this chapter discusses the distinction between police interrogation and investigative interviewing.
The chapter first traces the trend away from coercion to deception in police attempts to gain confessions and information from suspects. An example of deceptive interviewing techniques is the Reid technique, which uses a consciously persuasive tactic to create a conversational rapport in order to win the suspect's trust and obtain a confession. The interrogator gradually breaks down the suspect's resistance to make him/her vulnerable to making incriminating statements. The interrogator essentially navigates the suspect into sharing the interrogator's assumption that he/she is guilty of the crime at issue and that their rapport will be confirmed and reinforced by the suspect's open confession. Several researchers have found a high risk in using persuasive interview techniques, because they may produce false confessions. Several theories are offered as to why this is the case. Therapeutic jurisprudence, on the other hand, involves investigative interviewing, with the objective of obtaining information on what the interviewee remembers from a crime event, as well as voluntary admissions from suspects. Whether the interviewee is a suspect, witness, or victim, the interview is designed to help the interviewee remember events and share information and feelings about what occurred. The techniques used respect the interviewee and proceed without preconceived notions of the interviewee's culpability in the crime at issue. This chapter and its referred studies indicate that an interviewee's sense of psychological well-being is important in an interview's production of accurate and voluntary sharing of information including confessions. Further research is needed in order to define psychological well-being and how it can be facilitated and measured. 97 references