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Chapter 3

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter Three The Psychology of Police InvestigationsPolice InterrogationsIn North America a confession usually has to be backed up by some other form of evidencePolice interrogation a process whereby the police interview a suspect for the purpose of gathering evidence and obtaining a confessionPolice interrogations are considered to be inherently coercive Because offenders are typically reluctant to confess they must often be tricked into doing soThe Reid Model of Interrogationo North American o Reid model a ninestep model of interrogation used frequently in North America to extract confessions from suspects o It consists of a threepart processFirst stagegather evidence related to the crime and interview witnesses and victimsSecond stageconduct a nonaccusatorial interview of the suspect to assess any evidence of deception ie determining whether the suspect is lying when heshe claims to be innocentThird stageconduct an accusatorial interrogation of the suspect if heshe is perceived to be guilty in which a ninestep procedure is implemented with the primary objective being to secure a confession o The ninestep procedure in step 31 Suspect confronted with hisher guilt2 Psychological themes are then developed that allow the suspect to justify rationalize or excuse the crime3 Interrogator interrupts any statements of denial by the suspect to ensure the suspect does not get the upper hand in the interrogation4 Interrogator overcomes the suspects objections to the charges to a point at which the suspect becomes quiet and withdrawn5 Once the suspect has become withdrawn the interrogator ensures that the suspect does not tune out of the interrogation by reducing the psychological distance between the interrogator and the suspect such as by physically moving closer to the suspect6 Interrogator then exhibits sympathy and understanding and the suspect is urged to come clean7 Suspect is offered facesaving explanations for the crime which makes selfincrimination easier to achieve
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