A Canadian Perspective on Using Psychologists for Enhanced Interrogation

For decades, forensic psychologists have dedicated much effort to applying their research and theory to improve the criminal justice system. However, recently, the roles of psychologists have expanded to more direct involvement as consultants in criminal investigations. The recent scandal involving the collusion of the American Psychological Association leadership with torture-endorsing interrogation programs suggests that it is an optimal time to reflect upon these expanding consultation activities. A new article in the journal Canadian Psychology explores emerging practical and ethical issues confronting forensic psychologists acting as consultants in criminal investigations, and provide recommendations for best practices in this context. Specifically, the article focuses on the increasing application of psychology in 3 investigative contexts: advising police on interrogation or other investigative strategies, evaluating the credibility of suspect statements, and consulting with emergency response teams in hostage-taking or barricade situations. The application of psychological science in law enforcement settings is rapidly evolving, which means it requires more empirical attention, ethical analysis, and specific training to ensure that psychologists are acting in the best interest of everyone involved. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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