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Chapter 3

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PSYC 2400
Jenelle Power

Chapter 3The Psychology of Police InvestigationPsychologists have identified a number of key investigative tasks where psychology is relevantOne of these tasks relates to the collection and evaluation of investigative informationinformation that is often obtained from suspects Another task relates to investigative decision making especially decisions that require an indepth understanding of criminal behaviourPolice InterrogationsConfession evidence is often viewed as a prosecutors most potent weaponPolice officers will often go to great lengths to secure such evidence A confession usually has to be backed up by some other form of evidenceRegardless of whether corroborative evidence is required it is likely that people who confess to a crime are more likely to be prosecuted and convicted than those who do notOne of the goals of police interrogation is to gain information from the suspect that furthers the investigation such as the location of important evidence another key goal is to obtain the confessionPolice interrogation a process whereby the police interview a suspect for the purpose of gathering evidence and obtaining a confessionBeing interrogated by the police for the purpose of extracting a confession is often considered to be inherently coerciveThe situation of being interrogated would no doubt be intimidatingThe police interrogators are part of system that gives them certain powers over the suspectPolice interrogations were coercive in the pastIn the midtwentieth century whippings were occasionally used to obtain confessionsThese overt acts of physical coercion have become much less frequent with time they have been replaced with more subtle psychologically based interrogation techniques such as lying about evidence promising lenient treatment and implying threats to loved onesPolice officers sometimes view these techniques as a necessary evil to obtain confessions from guilty personsThe Reid Model of InterrogationPolice officers around the world often receive specialized training in exactly how to extract confessions from suspectsDepending on where this training is provided different approaches are taughtThe most common interrogation training program offered to North American police officers called Criminal Interrogation and ConfessionsReid Model A ninestep model of interrogation used frequently in North America to extract confessions from suspects
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