THE MAGAZINE

Essentials of the Reid Technique: Criminal Interrogation and Confessions

By Henry C. Ruiz i

Essentials of the Reid Technique: Criminal Interrogation and Confessions. By Fred Inbau, John E. Reid, Joseph P. Buckley, and Brian C. Jayne; published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers; available from ASIS International, Item #1607, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 253 pages; $32 (ASIS members), $36 (nonmembers).

The growing emphasis on interviewing and interrogation skills for both public and private security personnel is creating more professional training and educational opportunities, as well as more sources of information on the subject. The choice of resources can be bewildering.

Many experts consider the Reid Technique to be the leading method on interviewing and interrogation and Criminal Interrogation and Confessions to be the seminal textbook on the subject. Now the developers of the Reid Technique have created an abridged version of the classic textbook, called Essentials of the Reid Technique: Criminal Interrogation and Confessions.

Designed as a trimmed-down textbook for criminal justice and security students and a refresher for professionals trained in the Reid Technique, the book lays out the basic elements of the technique, which deal with interviewing and interrogations. Ancillary or granular information from the unabridged textbook has been excised for the sake of concision. For example, the abridged version omits material on interrogation law, initial precautionary measures for the protection of innocent parties, behavior-analysis interviews, and specialized questioning techniques.

What it does contain are sections not only on the conduct of interviews but also on the setup of the interview room, the interviewer’s demeanor, question formation, confrontation, and so on. Particularly interesting are sections on nonverbal and paralinguistic behavior (such as delivery, length, and continuity of the response).

As noted, students and investigators trained in the Reid Technique will find this to be a worthy text. So will security professionals who want to become more effective in interviews.


Reviewer: Henry C. Ruiz is a management consultant and analyst who is involved in various research activities devoted to improving the security profession.

 

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