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Peering Inside a Canadian Interrogation Room: An Examination of the Reid Model of Interrogation, Influence Tactics, and Coercive Strategies

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 36 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 674-694
Lesley King; Brent Snook
Date Published
July 2009
This study explored the interrogation process through analysis of 44 video-recorded police interrogations of suspects in criminal cases.
Findings show that interrogators did not strictly adhere to the core components of the nine-step Reid Model of Interrogation. On average, the interrogators used about 34 percent of the Reid Model. Specifically, officers did not frequently use 8 of the 17 core Reid components, such as reconfirming belief in guilt after denial, starting the interrogation with a confrontation of guilt, and following up the initial confrontation with a behavioral pause. By contrast, interrogators tended to follow Inbau et al. (2004) which prescribes nine core steps and a variety of general suggestions and guidelines to persuade a suspect to confess as well as colleagues' suggestions to change the theme of the interrogation if a previous theme was rejected, to allow suspects to voice objections, and to return questioning back to the beginning of the suspects' account of their involvement in the crime after they have made a partial admission of guilt. Findings suggest that interrogators are selective in the Reid components that they employ. The interrogators cited four reasons for their selective use of the components of the nine-step Reid model; the four reasons given are described in detail. Data were collected from 44 video-recorded interrogations obtained from a police organization in Atlantic Canada. Tables, notes, and references