Rate this paper
  • Currently rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
4.80 / 5
Paper Topic:

Interview and Interrogation

Table of Content

Introduction --------------------------------------------------------- 1

Reasons for Conducting an Interview or Interrogation ---- 3

Difference Between Interview and Interrogation ------------ 3

Methods of Interrogation

Emotional Offender --------------------------------------------- 4

Non-Emotional Offender --------------------------------------- 5

Conducting an Interview --------------------------------------- 7

IV . Preparations ------------------------------------------------------------ 9

V . Other Possible Sources of Information ----------------------------- 9

VI . The Interview Room -------------------------------------------------- 10

VII . Some Aspects in Communication --------------------------------- 11

VIII . Different Forms of Questions ------------------------------------- 13

IX . Gathering of Information -------------------------------------------- 14

X . Instrumentation p

A . Polygraph -------------------------------------------------------- 15

B . Computer Voice Stress Analyzer --------------------------- 16

Reference page -------------------------------------------------------------- 17 INTERVIEW AND INTERROGATION


An important component on a methodical approach to criminological research is the aspect of investigation . Utilizing the techniques of interview and investigation , it is primarily bed by government policies and social regulations . The techniques employed by both draws heavily from the studies of psychology and sociology , as a tool to facilitate the enforcement of law in the society

In probing towards a case , the objective of the entire investigation would be to ascertain the details of the crime that would eventually lead to the offender 's arrest and meet its just punishment . But before this could be achieved , investigators had to go first through the process of discovering and identifying the criminal . Upon the offender 's positive identification , law enforcers or investigators go the tedious process of locating the criminal and establish his responsibility over the crime before the court

In whatever stage the investigation may be in , whether in the process of identification , location , or court litigation , the investigator relies heavily on gathered information that could be extracted through techniques of interview and interrogation

With the fast development of technology used in crime investigation , the method of interview and interrogation might be perceived as having of no use . However , investigators still continue to depend on these methods particularly on cases wherein there is scarce or no physical evidence to work on Reasons for Conducting an Interview or Interrogation

The basic reason for utilizing interview or interrogation is to obtain information . The endpoint would be for the investigator to bring a subject to admit or confess of having done a crime . The objective of the entire course of investigation of course , is to arrive at the truth of the situation

Specifically , these are

Provoke the guilty to confess

Allows the investigator to narrow down the list of suspected criminals

To identify the facts and know the circumstances surrounding the crime

To establish the identity of all those who are involved of the crime

To gather information that would help locate physical evidence

Gather information that would lead to hideouts , crime operations organizations or individuals involved , especially crimes involving drug trafficking

Gather information that could be used as reference for future investigation

It is also utilized as a pre-test and post-test in conducting polygraph tests of suspected criminals (Aubry , Caputo . 1980

Difference Between Interview and Interrogation

The nature or circumstances by which an interview and interrogation is used vastly differ , although the terms are frequently associated together . Interviews are carried out in a more genial atmosphere . The person from whom information is taken out is set to feel at ease . It is assumed that when a person feels no anxiety or unthreatened by person questioning , the greater the tendency that a person would speak more and thus give out more information . An interview is usually used by an investigator towards a possible witness

On the other hand , when a person is subjected to sever psychological (and sometimes physical ) pressure , placing the person in great discomfort , such method is called an interrogation . This is usually employed when the one being questioned is uncooperative . The investigator uses psychological warfare , to gain control and force a confession over the person

Success in interrogation is achieved when the investigator has learned to skillfully practice it both as a technique and art . Conducting an investigation requires a good understanding of human behavior as well as knowing how to influence the situation by acting , since the person being questioned could range from a respected professional , a teenager , or even as young as a child . It is highly relevant to the success of the case that the investigator know how to adapt to the varying demands of the circumstances

A . Methods of Interrogation

In conducting interrogation , it is important that the subject be properly classified whether it is an emotional or non-emotional offender . The classification dictates the course of action that the investigator will undertake his approach towards the offender

Emotional Offender

In carrying out an interrogation under this classification is much easier , compared to a non-emotional offender . Often emotional offenders commit a crime out of passion , therefore most are first-time offenders They are driven by strong emotions in committing the crime such as jealousy , lust , or anger . The investigator will find it easier to drive him to confession by dealing through his emotions . There are a variety of ways with which this can be done . The investigator primarily wins the confidence of the offender by demonstrating sympathy or compassion , and being pleasant where hostility was expected (i .e . giving a cup of coffee . It is also vital that overt reactions towards the crime or any association , reference to it be closely observed . An emotional first-time offender would less likely be good at hiding his emotions When lying , his tension would easily be observable . The tension in his body will lead to dryness in the mouth . The offender might relieve himself of the tension by playing with his fingers or by tapping his foot . Frequently , lying goes with poor eye contact . When confronted by hard data proving his guilt , emotional offenders often break down for confession

Non-Emotional Offender

Conversely , non-emotional offenders are harder to deal with since most of them have become callous doing criminal acts . They had chosen a life of crime as a profession , served or evaded imprisonment many times . They have often had encounters with law enforcers that they had become shrewd enough to learn keep their silence , which investigators find highly uncooperative

The investigator 's approach towards such offenders is either the `question and answer method ' or the `narrative method . In the question and answer method , the investigator develops his evidence based on the information taken out as the suspect answers the questions thrown at him

Another approach would be to allow the suspect to relate his own version of the story while the investigator hears it without interrupting However , to prove consistency , the investigator makes the suspect retell the `story ' several times . If the suspect is lying , there will be facts that will be contradictory , since the offender will have to cover up one lie with another . It is important that the investigator would re-interrogate the suspect to authenticate the facts . An offender would usually give an alibi to show his innocence of the crime , pretending to be absent when the crime was committed . In this case , the interrogator continuous to confirm the truthfulness of the facts through repeated interrogation . Moreover , the interrogator can verify the story by making him tell the story backwards . If the suspect gives a complete detail of a story at a specific time , the investigator pushes him to narrate the story backwards

But most investigators have found the `factual method ' most effective in dealing with toughened criminals . During the interrogation , hard physical or circumstantial evidence is presented before the offender which he would find very difficult to refute and which the investigator hopes would lead to his ultimate confession

It is sometimes helpful to utilize contrasting approach by two interrogators . One could come with harsh words , being unsympathetic towards the suspect . The other comes with a softer and kinder approach

Another method utilized by interrogators to extract a confession is the `overheard conversation ' especially among crimes committed by more than one person . Interrogation is done separately , with one viewing the other but unable to hear the conversation . As the other suspect 's turn comes in to be questioned , the interrogator informs him or her that his accomplice has already admitted of the crime

Investigators are also able to get helpful leads of a crime when they give a hypothetical question towards a suspect . In presenting this question , the suspect is made to believe that the investigators believe his innocence , but is simply asking him of what he might have done if he were the one who committed the crime

Bluffing are sometimes used by interrogators but should be carried out with caution . This has been proven effective in some a small number of cases , wherein the investigator bluffs the suspect of possessing physical evidence or witnesses that proves the person 's guilt , leaving the suspect with little option but to spill out a confession . Again this method should be used with caution since this would be very absurd when the suspect is truly guiltless

As we can see , success of the interrogation relies heavily on the ability of the investigator to know what approach to use in different situations . Good judgment comes with experience . Nevertheless , no amount of confession (verbal or written ) is good enough without proper validation of other forms of evidence , whether physical or circumstantial

B . Conducting an Interview

In conducting an investigation through a witness , investigators usually extract information through a lighter atmosphere . Doing and interview rather than interrogation is more apt to use . Investigators however will encounter different kinds of witnesses . There are the indifferent interested , hostile , or child witness

Of all the categories , the indifferent witness is found to be the most cooperative and most likely to give the best information . Such witnesses are unaffected by the result or outcome of the case Therefore they do not feel anxious from either threat , loss , or anticipate anything to gain from the situation . Consequently , the indifferent witness are more inclined to give whatever information or facts he know about the case truthfully since he has neither anything to gain or lose

Relatives , friends or any person who perceive to gain from the case may be deemed as an interested witness . Facts taken out through their account are less likely to be reliable . Witnesses that are closely related to the suspect are often hostile to investigation . In which case , the investigator would find it more appropriate and helpful to use interrogation instead of conducting a mere interview . Such hostility is not surprising , since it is expected that they would rather protect the suspect

The child witness , whose testimony are often held as highly reliable are now treated with more carefulness . Although any information from a child is usually taken as undeniably true , since there is a premise that all children will never lie and will always speak the truth . Nevertheless children are highly sensitive to reactions of adults and may give responses , which they deemed acceptable . They can also be easily manipulated or driven by suggestions

Credible eyewitnesses are vital towards the entire process of conducting the investigation but the person 's background such as education profession , or emotion has a great influence over his perception . The investigator should not expect to take out the exact details of an incident based simply on the account of an eyewitness . There are different factors that would affect his testimony . Only the facts that corroborate with other accounts from other witnesses (if there are any circumstantial or physical evidence are given any value ( Interview and Interrogation in the Investigation of Crime Preparations

Before conducting an interview or interrogation , it is imperative that proper preparations be done which involves identifying goals , laying out a plan that gives the investigator an edge or advantage over the suspect

Getting information that has already been gathered prior to the examination is also vital to gain a better perspective of the whole situation . The confession of the interrogation should be set clearly . A necessary aspect of preparation is being armed with essential information concerning the examinee . The interviewee can detect either your lack of knowledge over the case or be beaten down by your full awareness over the facts , which could severely affect his responses

Preparing ahead of time allows the investigator to discern the kind of personality that he will be dealing and the consequent actions that he would undertake to manage the situation to his advantage

Other Possible Sources of Information

In relation to preparation of obtaining other vital information surrounding suspected criminals , background information can be obtained in other sources other than the suspect . These are

Parents - the personality , disposition of the suspect 's parents could be a helpful hint as to the suspect 's character and possible motives in committing the crime

Other Members of the Family or Blood Relations - could also be a source of information regarding a suspect 's emotions , and whereabouts

Police records - in determining the pro of the suspect , whether he is a first-time offender of a hardened criminal

Educational attainment - supply a good indication of the suspect 's possible manner of reactions . It is hypothesized that the higher the academic achievement , the greater the possibility of being more adept at controlling or hiding indications of deception

Employment Record - aside from the suspect 's education , his employment background is also a good source of information that helps create the suspect 's over-all pro

Involvement in Church Activities - allows the investigator to gain insight into the suspect 's train of thoughts or the values that he holds

It is vital to obtain insight to a suspect 's value system , since this could lead to determine the motives of committing a crime as influenced by his set of values

The Interview Room

Interviews and interrogations are often best carried out in a room specifically set up for such purposes . The following details should be accounted for when preparing the interview room

A good degree of privacy . It has been observed that most suspects clam up in the presence of many investigators . On the contrary , they had been found to open up more in private

Absence of sounds or noise outside the room that could disrupt the interview

Smaller space , which could cause interviewees to feel more relaxed towards the interrogator

Properly lighted which helps the investigator in properly observing the overt physical responses throughout the course of questioning

Two-way mirrors and hidden microphones which permit another investigator to monitor responses that interrogator might overlook

Some Aspects in Communication

As much as investigators are to be watchful of the suspect or witness being questioned , he too must be watchful of his own . The investigator 's own communication skills , both verbal and non-verbal play an important part on being able to conduct a successful investigation . Whether it concerns the investigator or the one being questioned , different variables of communication are worth noting

Non-verbal communication may be classified through the following


Kinesics or body motions include movements of the eyes , expressions on the face , movements of certain parts of the body (such as hands and feet , and body posture . The dilation of the pupil of the eyes is generally affected by the person 's emotions . Dilated pupils are said to exhibit excitation . On the other hand , anger and pessimistic moods has been observed to affect constriction of the pupils . The degree to which eye the subject establishes contact could be affected by difference in personality , or culture

Facial expressions too can be used to either validate or negate facts or information surrounding the case . But in `reading ' facial expressions it is essential to consider that individuals can either be

Withholders -the `poker ' face who hide their emotions by being expressionless

Revealers -those who is said to wear their feelings on their sleeves they show their emotions clearly on their face . Most investigators find this kind difficult to deal with

Substitute Expressors -describes those who demonstrate facial expressions that contradict their true feelings

Ever-Ready Expressors - these are individuals who readily react to stimulus and show it through facial expressions . These are the easiest to deal with

A person 's gestures , which is a combination of movement of the body 's arm and hands , shoulders and so on , when taken together can give meaningful insight to the person 's true thoughts and emotions

The investigator 's body movement must also be used to facilitate and not hinder the investigation


On the other hand , paralanguage refers to the manner in which words are spoken . It focuses more on the person 's manner of conveying a message in verifying the truthfulness or falsehood of what is being said . The prefix para ' means alongside , therefore paralanguage is the communicated language that goes along the spoken language . Tone of voice and other speech patterns have been found to be often helpful

A delayed response or long hesitation is often taken to be an indication of lying , as well as short hesitation when the person has already conditioned himself to make a lie . Higher incidence of speech pauses coupled with a high-pitched voice could also be a sign of committing deception . The pitch of our voice is also affected by emotions Excitement and anxiety can cause the pitch to be altered at a higher range while tiredness or exhaustion can bring it down to a lower level The intensity or volume is also taken into account . Paralanguage is also taken in context with other body language or facial expressions to reach the right conclusion

Touch or Haptics

The nonverbal communication of touch conveys a powerful message . It can either express feelings of concern or affection such as a pat or embrace . A slap expresses just the opposite . Touch that demonstrates concern satisfies a need for affirmation called anchoring . When utilized during an interview or even interrogation , it can elicit trust and confidence from the subject towards the interrogator

All in all , the investigator does not only take into account the verbal information he has extracted but must also consider other information sources of information transmitted primarily through unconscious nonverbal communications which are harder to control or hide

Different Forms of Questions

The kinds of question being given are usually determined by different factors . The investigator decides the kind of question to ask based on the type of information he wants to have , the phase of the investigation , and depending whether the situation requires increasing or decreasing the level of anxiety on the interviewee . It can be open-ended (encouraging the one being questioned to talk more ) or close-type of question (which only allows specific answer such as yes or no . A question can also be thrown in a non-directive way that does not give the interviewee any insight as to what the investigator would approve of . Leading questions on the other hand , is used more effectively at the last part of the interrogation to break down a suspect 's defenses . Assumptive questions are used to convey a message that what the suspect is giving is already familiar or known by the interrogator (Bosshardt , DuBois , Paullin Carter . The Investigative Interview

Gathering of Information

In conducting an interview or interrogation before and after polygraph test , there are factors that need to be considered that could gravely affect the information extracted

Questions . The amount of questions given in a pre-test should be moderate . If too much is given , this could lead to less interaction and openness on the interviewee . Too little of it , can cause discomfort or anxiety . It is also good to give one question at a time . The course of investigation can be directed or guided from a non-directive to an open-ended questioning . Finally , a closed type of question is used to bring finality and closure to the material

al Flow . It is not necessary that the interviewee be made to strictly adhere to follow the flow of listed questions . The interviewee is forced to strictly adhere to follow the flow of questions if the interrogator desires increasing the anxiety level . Before administering the test , the interviewee should be allowed to express his thoughts that might be bothering him , in to eliminate any unnecessary stress that could lead to erroneous information

In answering questions during the examination , the interviewer carefully examines the subject based on degree of silence , hesitance or pause , or the deliberate shift of by the examinee

The examiner should paraphrase the information given from time to time by summarizing what the examinee has given ( Interview and Interrogation : Seeking the Truth



The polygraph is an apparatus that measures a person 's physiological responses or reactions based on his blood pressure , pulse rate respiration , and the skin 's conductance response (or Galvanic Skin Response ) as he is confronted with different questions . The procedure is based on the hypothesis that tension or anxiety that comes along the giving of lies will result to erratic measurements of the said physiological variables . Anxiety is perceived as an indicator of lying For this reason , a polygraph is often also referred to as a lie detector , although the term is inaccurate . The assumption over anxiety is obviously neither reliable nor foolproof if the subject is anxious or uncomfortable for other reasons . Interrogation may lead to erroneous conclusions if done with individuals who exhibit a high degree of control over their own anxiety , especially among hardened criminals

Most examiners today use computerized instrumentation than the analog Before giving out a series of questions , the suspect is informed or given a background of how the device works . It is then emphasized that it is imperative that the subject should only give out true information since the apparatus is able to detect the occurrence of lying . The subject is viewed as having passed the examination if his physiological responses are greater when being confronted with the probable-lie questions compared to his responses during the relevant questions . If not , then the examiner conducts a post-examination ( Federal Psychophysiological Detection of Deception Examiner Handbook Although there are many who adhere to the reliability of polygraph machines , scientific evidence supporting this claim is not enough to validate this belief

Computer Voice Stress Analyzer

Since the polygraph machine is itself subjected to various questioning most practitioners are moving towards relying more on a much recent technology called the Voice Stress Analysis . It is based on the assumption that tension due to lying can be measured or detected through the person 's voice . Pioneering works were done in the military

In the Voice Stress Analysis , examiners measure the presence of micro-tremor of about 8 to 14 Hz . This element is said to be abundant during normal conversations , but absent when the person is under duress As the subject is confronted with a series of questions , his responses are measured and recorded for any presence of variation in micro-tremor The reliability of test results is also being questioned . This was later improved through the Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer developed in 1988 . The CVSA has often facilitated confessions from offenders , greatly aiding investigators in solving cases . The apparatus has also undergone scientific inspection , but few actual researches have been conducted to substantiate the reliability of the machine . While law enforcers are more likely to employ CVSA for their investigation , those who conduct the litigation process are more doubtful of the process . Some have even cases in court , claiming damages for confessions made under CVSA To counter such moves , the organization governing the examiners and users of CVSA has required examinees to sign a release form in an effort to absolve the NITV from any such claims . It is not however known whether such measures truly frees the organization from any responsibility in case of litigation that questions the validity of the CVSA results (J . Palmatier . The Computerized Voice Stress analyzer


Aubry , Caputo . Criminal Interrogation . 1980

Interview and Interrogation in the Investigation of Crime

http /ncthakur .itgo .com /chand3a .htm

Bosshardt , DuBois , Paullin Carter . The Investigative Interview . 1989

Interview and Interrogation : Seeking the Truth

HYPERLINK "http /www .antipolygraph .org /documents /dodpi-interrogation .pdf http /www .antipolygraph .org /documents /dodpi-interrogation .pdf

Federal Psychophysiological Detection of Deception Examiner Handbook

http /www .antipolygraph .org /documents /federal-polygraph-handbook-02-10- 2006 .pdf

Palmatier , J . The Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer

http /www .abanet .org /genpractice /magazine /1999 /jun /palmatr .html


PAGE 2 ...

Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay (only for $12.99)