“Just Admit You Did It and You Can Go Home.” — Confession Technique Issues

In Indiana, the Reid technique is still widely used for adult and juvenile interrogations, but some researchers raise concerns about eliciting false confessions.  Beyond Good Cop/Bad Cop: A Look at Real-Life Interrogations gives an overview of issues with the Reid Technique and summarizes The Interview: Do Police Interrogation Techniques Produce False Confessions? by Douglas Starr.  For more on interrogations of children generally, see this prior post:  Juvenile Interrogation.

As mentioned in the first article, the “PEACE” technique (preparation and planning, engage and explain, account, closure, and evaluate) is used or recommended internationally by such countries and entities as Great Britain, New Zealand, and the United Nations.  For an article comparing the Reid technique and the PEACE technique, see Interviewing Suspects: Practice Science and Future Directions, by Saul M. Kassin, Sara C. Appleby, and Jennifer Torkildson Perrillo, 15 Legal & Crim. Psych. 39 (2010)

To preserve confessions for future use and evaluation, Indiana Evidence Rule 617 requires that custodial interrogations in a place of detention (jail, police station, etc.) must be audio and video recorded for felony criminal prosecutions, unless certain exceptions apply.  This rule has not been extended to juvenile interrogations, despite the enhanced waiver of rights advisement procedure (see I.C. 31-32-5-1) and the competency issues in juvenile cases.  There is no requirement that juvenile interrogations be recorded for future review and use in court.

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