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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229119 Find in a Library
Title: Investigative Interviewing of Suspected Sex Offenders: A Review of What Constitutes Best Practice
Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2009  Pages:442-459
Author(s): Julianne M. Read; Martine B. Powell; Mark R. Kebbell; Rebecca Milne
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 18
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper synthesizes the relevant literature in order to produce a preliminary guide to best practice for interviewing suspected sex offenders.
Abstract: The review is structured around five elements that should be considered when planning for and administering the interviews. These elements include establishing rapport, introducing the topic of concern, eliciting narrative detail, clarification/specific questions, and closure. Given that the aim of any investigative interview is to gather evidence regarding whether, how, and by whom a criminal act has occurred, good rapport assists in overcoming barriers to eliciting the desired information. Part of developing good rapport is being respectful while establishing a sincere, supportive interview environment. Once initial rapport is established, the topic of concern (i.e., the allegation) must be introduced. An effective way of doing this is to invite the suspect (without assuming any wrongdoing) to give his/her version of the events at issue or to explain the nature of his/her relationship with the alleged victim. This evolves into the next goal of the interview, i.e., to encourage the suspect to provide a narrative account of the event or situation at issue. This should involve little prompting from the interviewer. This is followed by clarification/specific questions. This phase of the interview focuses on critical details in the suspect's narrative that were omitted or aims to clarify inconsistencies in the suspect's account, using independent evidence obtained prior to the interview as points of reference. The final phase of the interview, closure, summarizes information provided during the interview, giving the suspect the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings and to ask questions about any evidence mentioned in the course of the interview. The suspect is also informed of future processes in the case. 100 references
Main Term(s): Police interrogation training
Index Term(s): Investigative techniques; Police interviewing training; Sex offenders
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