Conference Spotlight: Juvenile Interview and Interrogation

By Sabrina Rhodes, Guest Blogger and Project Specialist, Juvenile Justice Initiatives, IACP

“The juvenile interview and interrogation landscape is undergoing an unprecedented upheaval. Over the past decade, numerous studies have demonstrated that juveniles are particularly likely to give false information – and even falsely confess – when questioned by law enforcement.  Based on this research, court decisions, including key recent decisions by the Supreme Court, are leading police to question juveniles differently than adults.”[1]

IACP will be hosting a panel discussion on these issues at the IACP 2012 Annual Conference in San Diego. The workshop titled “Don’t Risk It! Why Law Enforcement Should Avoid Using Adult Interrogation Techniques on Youth” will offer tips on how to mitigate risks and increase successful investigative outcomes. Panelists will include:

  • Diane E. Urban, Chief of Police, Hayward, California
  • Joshua Tepfer, Attorney, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Northwestern University’s School of Law
  • N. Dickon Reppucci, Professor, University of Virginia, Lead Researcher of Custodial Interrogations of Juveniles: A National Police Study
  • Terrill Swift, who provided a false confession at 17 years old, was wrongfully convicted, and served 15 years in prison before his exoneration in 2012

Join the discussion on Tuesday, October 2nd from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Room 11A of the San Diego Convention Center.

In conjunction with this workshop, IACP is releasing a new publication titled Reducing Risks: An Executive’s Guide to Effective Juvenile Interview and Interrogation. This publication is targeted to law enforcement and includes recommended best practices, information on recent research and key cases affecting law enforcement, and sample documents departments can tweak for their own jurisdictions.

For more information on the workshop, executive guide, or juvenile justice training and technical assistance at the IACP, contact Sabrina Rhodes.


[1]U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Reducing Risks: An Executive’s Guide to Effective Juvenile Interview and Interrogation, by Drizin, Steven, et al., for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (September 2012).

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