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AbstractFew studies have examined police interrogation strategies from suspects’ perspectives, yet assessing suspects’ views about interviewer approaches could provide important insights regarding confession decision making. The current study is the first American survey to assess a diverse sample of adult jail inmates’ views on police interrogation tactics and approaches. The study explored US jail inmates’ (N = 418) perspectives about how police should conduct interrogations. Potential dimensionality among 26 survey items pertaining to police tactics was examined using exploratory factor analysis. Group differences according to demographic and criminological variables were also explored. Four factors emerged, conceptualized as Dominance/Control, Humanity/Integrity, Sympathy/Perspective-Taking, and Rapport. Respondents most strongly endorsed Humanity/Integrity and Rapport strategies and were unsupportive of approaches involving Dominance/Control. Gender differences emerged for Dominance/Control and Humanity/Integrity, and Black respondents were more likely to value strategies related to Sympathy/Perspective-Taking. Suspects endorsed interrogation strategies characterized by respect, dignity, voice, and a commitment to the truth; they reported aversions to the false evidence ploy and approaches involving aggression. Overall, results from this incarcerated sample suggest that interviewees may be more responsive to rapport-building, non-adversarial strategies.
CitationCleary, H. M. D. and Bull, R. (2018) 'Jail inmates’ perspectives on police interrogation', Psychology, Crime & Law, DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2018.1503667
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law