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Police Interviews with Young Suspects in Northern Ireland.

Jackson, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) British Journal of Criminology. 47:234-255.

The increasing use of diversion and the growing interest in restorative justice as a
means of dealing with youth offending has tended to deflect attention away from
the police interview which many young persons must endure before diversionary
practices take effect.1 Although there are clearly benefits to diversion, the effect of
these practices is that the police interview becomes the only forum for examining
the evidence against young suspects who go on to admit their guilt in return for
diversionary disposal (Pratt 1986; Evans 1993). Yet, there is a large literature which
illustrates that the police interview is not a disinterested search for the truth, in
which the police exercise their inquisitorial powers to gather information from the
suspect with information flowing in a unidirectional manner from suspect to officer
(see, e.g. McConville et al. 1991: 78–79 and Baldwin 1993). Instead, the facts generated
during interrogation are the product of a complex process of interaction
between the suspect and the officer in which proof is constructed out of the suspect’s
own words. (excerpt)


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