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NCJ Number: 209665 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Arson: The Importance of Early Intervention
Author(s): Paul Zipper Ph.D.; David K. Wilcox Ed.D.
Date Published: April 2005
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After discussing the dynamics and variables associated with juvenile firesetting, this article discusses intervention procedures, with attention to investigating the fire and interviewing juvenile suspects.
Abstract: Firesetting behavior generally occurs in older male children in an age range of 9 to 12 years. Parents of juvenile arsonists often experience personal and marital distress, and the children are generally exposed to stressful life events, poor supervision, and minimal family interaction. Parenting styles for such children are typically inconsistent and involve harsh punishment and ineffective enforcement of consequences of negative behavior. Juvenile firesetters typically have low self-esteem, limited social problem-solving skills, and impaired ability to deal with complex social interactions. Intervention for such juveniles requires a coordinated approach that involves mental health and social service professionals as well as law enforcement officials in cases of arson. The latter intervention has the important objective of holding the juvenile accountable for harms done by his/her firesetting. Fire investigators must determine whether or not a fire was caused by arson. Should this be the case, the investigation then focuses on possible motives for the arson and any likely suspects. This article discusses the IRONIC method for interviewing juvenile arson suspects. This method involves a step-by-step process that consists of the introduction, rapport, opening statement, narrative, inquiry, and conclusion. Each of these interview steps is described. The article concludes with guidelines for the documentation of a suspect's incriminating statement. 24 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile fire setters
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson factors; Arson investigations; Juvenile delinquency factors; Parent-Child Relations; Police interview/interrogation of juvenile; Police interviewing training
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