This presentation is Lecture 3 in a 3-part series focused on the issues related to extreme violence perpetrated by children and adolescents. The third lecture in this series focuses on neurodevelopmentally informed approaches to the forensic interview of youth who are accused of committing physically or sexually violent acts.
The foundation of case development, and formulation of expert opinion, is the suspect interview. The interview process itself is a high stake, stressful situation for all involved. Individual motives compete as the interview proceeds; the interviewee seeks exoneration, the police interviewer seeks information to support or refute his or her theory of the crime, and the forensic psychiatrist seeks to synthesize the available information to provide the trier of fact an unbiased expert opinion. Overt or subtle coercion can have a devastating impact on the interviewee’s freedom to provide a factual account of their behaviors. The impact of coercion is amplified for youth due to ongoing neurodevelopment which creates additional susceptibility. Techniques that can adapt to the neurocognitive context of the interview target, utilize a flexible approach, and encourage truth-telling to reduce the interview related drivers of false confession by minimizing coercion inherent in the interview process itself. With this introduction to the elements that contribute to coercion and approaches that either amplify or mitigate their effects, a neurodevelopmentally informed approach to interviewing of youth will be discussed through an exploration of topics including:
- The neurocognitive, and neurodevelopmental, processes that impact an individual’s susceptibility to coercion including genetic and environmental factors
- Specific indicators of that a youth may be experiencing coercion and techniques to decrease the likelihood that youth will experience coercion during the interview process
- False allegation
- False confession
These concepts will be reinforced by case examples of interviewing techniques that resulted in signs of coercion and discussion of known historical cases of false confession/false allegation. References and resource materials will be provided in addition to lecture content.
After attending this presentation:
- Attendees will be able to identify characteristics of coercion during police interviews and compare the coerciveness of different police interviewing techniques.
- Attendees will be able to identify neurodevelopmental and cognitive processes that impact the likelihood of obtaining a false confession or false allegation.
- Attendees will be able to evaluate interview outcomes for the presence of coercion.
Other Webinars in this Series:
- May 6: “I Wanted to Know What it Feels Like”: Childhood Psychopathy and Extreme Violence Committed by Youth
- Aug 17: Risk Assessment Tools for Legally Involved Youth
- Dec 2: “Can’t I Just Go Home?”: Interview Techniques, Neurodevelopment, and the Twin Specters of False Allegation and False Confession (this webinar)
Click here to view and register for other upcoming IALEIA webinars on the JCH Platform.
The International Association of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) is the largest professional organization in the world representing law enforcement analysts. We represent law enforcement analysts in a variety of venues and provide an environment of community by establishing regional chapters. The purpose of IALEIA is to advance high standards of professionalism in law enforcement intelligence analysis at the local, state/provincial, national, and international levels. Our aim is to enhance understanding of the role of intelligence analysis, encourage the recognition of intelligence analysis as a professional endeavor, develop international qualification and competency standards, reinforce professional concepts, devise training standards and curricula, furnish advisory and related services on intelligence analysis matters, conduct analytic-related research studies, and provide the ability to disseminate information regarding analytical techniques and methods. IALEIA has a certification program for analysts, a code of ethics, and bylaws that provide structure for the organization.