“Can’t I Just Go Home?” Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession

“Can’t I Just Go Home?” Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-12-02
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession
Unit 2Transcript: Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession
Unit 3Workbook: Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession
Unit 4Recording: Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession

This course is the third part of a webinar series on issues related to violence perpetrated by children and adolescents. While the previous sessions looked into risk assessment instruments for legally involved youth and childhood psychopathy and tendency for violence, this one zeroes in on neurodevelopmentally informed approaches to interviewing children, adolescents, and young adults.

Back on the Justice Clearinghouse is Sandra Antoniak. She is a triple diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She has a Master of Forensic Science degree; completed residencies in Adult, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry; and is a Certified Correctional Health Provider – Physician through the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

Specifics she discussed on this webinar are:

  • The history of juvenile justice and examining how society progressed in terms of recognizing the welfare of and factors that must be considered for children/adolescents/young adults.
  • A rundown of the legal milestones in the form of case laws, reforms, and studies that gradually shaped legal rights and due process for juveniles to resemble the adults’.
  • The transitional age brain and its defining characteristics that influence information processing, decision-making, risk-taking, emotions, and general behavior.
  • The concept of negative attribution bias observed during the transitional age brain.
  • Characteristics that may manifest from children/adolescents/young adults during interviews and leveraging inductive interviewing to navigate this.
  • The three types of false confessions – the reasons for doing so for each and its distinguishing qualities.
  • The situations and reasons that may lead to false allegations.
  • The adverse consequences of false confessions and allegations to the victims, suspects, and the justice system as a whole.
  • Studies and statistics that exhibited how:
    • False confession significantly impacts the justice procedure through wrongful convictions that may progress as exonerations.
    • Mental health limitations and belonging to the children/adolescents/young adults segment exacerbate the likelihood for false confessions.
  • Unpacking the different interrogation approaches that can either increase or decrease the chances of a false confession.
  • Case examples that demonstrate how children/adolescents/young adults pulled off false allegations and false confessions.
  • An article that outlined how to ensure children/adolescents/young adults’ rights are upheld and to Mirandize in a language that most children/adolescents/young adults would understand.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • Studies on Miranda Rights understanding of adults.
  • The impact of childhood trauma on neurological development.
  • The balancing act of acknowledging the neurodevelopmental limits of children/adolescents/young adults while also espousing justice-seeking.
  • The age threshold for adolescence.
  • Recommended interview techniques for children/adolescents/young adults.

 

Other Webinars in this Series:

 

Click here to view and register for other upcoming IALEIA webinars on the JCH Platform.

 

Resources and Handouts

 

Audience Comments

  • “Outstanding presentation…thank you!” — Barbara
  • “The most valuable thing I learned was tips for avoiding accidental coercion.” — Brianna
  • “The section on false confessions. Conducting these youth interviews can be tough and ensuring you are asking the correct question to get the right information is imperative.” — David
  • “Today’s speaker was wonderful. Thank you! “– John
  • “Great work. Very useful and informative.”– Jeffrey
  • “Excellent information on why children and adolescents are more likely to falsely confess.” — Julianna
  • “I interview so many juvenile suspects for very serious crimes, I enjoyed the whole presentation… including the historical approach to looking at juveniles! I always found it interesting that we forensically interview child victims of crime, but really didn’t interview juvenile suspects any different than adult suspects!” — Diane

 

Additional Resources
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