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Interrogation Techniques

Interrogation Techniques

The article provides information on interrogation techniques that are used in obtaining data from subjects. It might come as a surprise for some people, but torture as an interrogation technique is still used effectively in many parts of the world.
Shashank Nakate
The interrogation training provided to military and police forces helps them obtain information from the accused. The techniques employed in interrogation are not just limited to questioning, but also include different forms of torture. Techniques based on psychological studies help in manipulating the individual who is trying to hide information. Military interrogation techniques employed by the US army can be classified into Incentive Approach, Direct Approach, and Emotional Approach.

Police Interrogation Techniques

The different techniques used by the police for interrogation are explained below.

Increasing Suggestibility: The tendency of a person to listen to suggestions and act accordingly can be referred to as suggestibility. There are different ways to increase the suggestibility of the person being interrogated. Exposure to white noise, sleep deprivation, and making use of drugs, like sodium thiopental and sodium amytal, are few of them.

Deception: The technique of deception is used by the interrogators (police) to obtain important information that cannot be found out merely by asking for it. As per the laws in the United States, an interrogator is allowed to lie while carrying out an interrogation. The deception technique might involve the activity of making false allegations. The motive/intent behind such acts is to find out the truth because the culprit is likely to get nervous as the interrogation process inches towards the truth.

Reid Technique: This technique is divided into three parts: analyzing the facts, interviewing the subject, and finally questioning him/her. In this form of interrogation, the interrogators refrain from making direct allegations/accusations. If the factual information reveals that the person being interrogated is guilty, attempts are made to persuade him in accepting the crime. Supporters of this technique claim that those suspects unwilling to accept their crime can be made to confess. However, according to critics, it is one of those techniques that can also lead innocent people to yield to the pressure and elicit confessions that are not true.

Torture: In this technique, the person in question is subjected to physical pain. The torture technique can result into three possible outcomes. When innocent people are tortured, they may either make false confessions to avoid the physical pain or bear the torture. Hardened criminals, when subjected to torture, may mislead the interrogators by giving false information and thereby rescuing themselves from torture. The third possible outcome can be that of a culprit succumbing to torture and finally revealing the truth.

Good Cop/Bad Cop: It is a technique which involves interrogating by joint questioning. The suspect is interviewed and questioned by a pair of interrogators, one of whom makes allegations in an aggressive manner. Other interrogator plays the role of a sympathetic person who is kind to the subject. The technique is said to develop trust in the subject's mind towards the good cop. The subject may thus, disclose the truth/correct information to the good cop.

Pride-and-ego Down: In the pride-and-ego down technique, the sense of personal worth of subjects is attacked by interrogators. This technique works if the subject makes an attempt to win back his self-respect and in the process, reveals the truth.

CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

The enhanced interrogation methods were used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and US military intelligence soon after the infamous September 11 (9/11) attacks on World Trade Center in New York. These include the attention grab, attention slap, and belly slap techniques. On the other hand, waterboarding, cold cell, and long time standing were the torture methods put to practice.

If used properly, the different interrogation techniques explained in the article help in finding the truth in quick time.