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The article by Meyer and Reppucci is about the research that was conducted to study the beliefs and attitudes of police officers concerning juvenile interrogation (757). The authors studied this topic thoroughly and conducted a survey; as for their primary findings, they were able to indicate that police officers’ attitudes towards the practices of juvenile interrogation were different.
Interrogation techniques for working with suspected teenagers
As it follows from the introduction section, the authors are planning to study interrogation techniques that are used nowadays to work with adolescent suspects and the participants’ beliefs concerning their acceptability and effectiveness. The society should care about the stated problem because studying the effectiveness of interrogation methods is important for crime detection rate. In their study, the authors are trying to show the attitudes of police officers towards the practices discussed and conclude these people’s insights into juvenile interrogation. As it is clear from their statements, the authors intend to contribute to the field as just a few studies related to the topic have been conducted by previous researchers.
As for the things related to the topic that is already known, it is necessary to say that interrogation techniques mentioned in the article have already been described and studied by previous researchers in the field. Nevertheless, a little is known about the use of these methods during the work with adolescents and police officers’ attitudes towards this process. As for important findings reported by previous researchers, it has been stated by many of them that a lot of existing practices are inappropriate for adolescents due to the use of the specific language. The past studies in the field led the authors to do this research work because there was a need to synthesize all the data previously reported and analyze police officers’ opinions and preferences to understand the process of juvenile interrogation better. There were a few research hypotheses stated by the authors; thus, they supposed that police officers would lack knowledge on stages of child development and its connection to the reliability of confessionary statements. Furthermore, the authors supposed that the participants would report the use of the same techniques during the work with adults and adolescents.
To conduct the study, the authors chose more than three hundred participants among police officers and investigators working in Baltimore. The majority of the participants were white males in their mid-thirties. To define if the sample is a good representation of the entire population, it is necessary to take into consideration the most recent statistical data indicating the share of people of different genders and races working in police organizations. In general, the percent of women and staff members of other races seems to be relatively small. The study conducted by the authors included both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Having conducted a series of surveys and analyzed their results, the authors concluded that police officers were more likely to use the same techniques while interrogating adults and adolescents; moreover, a third of the participants believed that there was a need of special training program for police officers devoted to the proper use of these techniques during the work with younger suspects. These findings are important as they help the society to realize the knowledge gaps of police officers that need to be filled. As for the limitations of the study, the authors assume that the use of data reported by the employees of only one department maybe not enough to assess the situation in general. As for the suggestions for future research, the authors hope that the results will encourage other researchers to evaluate the situation in other areas and develop the solutions helping to increase police officers’ level of knowledge.
Meyer, Jessica R., and N. Dickon Reppucci. “Police Practices and Perceptions Regarding Juvenile Interrogation and Interrogative Suggestibility.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law, vol. 25, no.6, 2007, pp. 757-780.