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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 230063 Find in a Library
Title: Investigative Interviewing of Children and Other Vulnerable Witnesses: Psychological Research and Working/Professional Practice
Journal: Legal and Criminological Psychology  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:February 2010  Pages:5-23
Author(s): Ray Bull
Date Published: February 2010
Page Count: 19
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article outlines the definition of 'vulnerable' witness, reviews research on obtaining effective witness accounts, and beliefs concerning vulnerable witnesses.
Abstract: This article will first of all outline what is generally meant by 'vulnerable' witnesses. It will then briefly review research on why obtaining effective witness accounts is important and on beliefs concerning vulnerable witnesses. Some issues to do with vulnerable witnesses' access to justice will be briefly presented, as will the steps taken by a government to improve access. Such steps include the publication of official guidance documents on how to interview in a skilled manner, this guidance being extensively based on the findings of dozens of psychological research studies (conducted, for example, at schools or 'in the laboratory') and relevant theory. Several psychologists' studies of the actual investigative interviewing child witnesses and the vulnerable adults witnesses (e.g. by the police in their investigations) will then be reviewed, followed by an account of an outstanding example of how the findings of psychological research has improved interviewer performance. The limited number of studies of the effects of long delays and of interviewer manner will then be reviewed. This will be followed by an overview of research and guidance on some extra issues pertaining to the interviewing of particularly vulnerable witnesses. At the end, this article will mention some remaining issues that psychological research should address. Overall, the aim of this article is to demonstrate that the findings of psychological research are very relevant to good interviewer performance and can have a profound positive influence on 'what works' in the investigative interviewing of vulnerable witnesses. References (Published Abstracts)
Main Term(s): Witnesses
Index Term(s): Child victim interviews; Children in the courtroom; Interview and interrogation; Psychological evaluation
Note: For additional articles see NCJ-230062 and NCJ-230064-70.
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