The issue of false or coerced confessions has been the focus of the Innocence Project for approximately three decades. In the meantime, law enforcement as been bureaucratically slow in addressing the issue or changing their interviewing and interrogation training.
More recently the problem has surfaced in a big way as being a major problem with corporate loss prevention and risk management. In many cases, loss prevention investigators are using some of the same flawed or ineffective techniques during their investigations. As result their are taking multi-million losses in lawsuits due to false confessions.
Very soon, insurance underwriters will get tire of paying such huge claims and will demand corporate loss prevention as well as law enforcement agencies review their interviewing and interrogation training programs or pay VERY high premiums.
Interviewing & Interrogation Training:
It’s time for due diligence when selecting interviewing & interrogation training courses.
With the current atmosphere focusing on employee and officer liabilities academies providing proper training it is critical to vet not only the course content but also the instructor’s credentials. This is an example why academies scheduling interviewing and interrogation training should be very careful about how to go about selecting such courses. There are several examples of interviewing & interrogation trainers who have been responsible for multiple false confession cases as well as teaching methods that purportedly have a higher than normal association with false confessions and even coercion.
Unfortunately the same liability issues are affecting loss prevention professionals. Recently retail businesses and corporate loss prevention have been in the lime light for a growing number of cases of false confessions obtained by loss prevention or risk management personnel who are using coercive tactics on customers are well as their own employees. In nearly all the recent cases, the cause of the problem has started with improper training. Many of these cases are hitting 7 and even 8 figures in terms of financial losses. Unfortunately when questioned about their training approach many of the companies have responded with the flawed logic of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” That answer doesn’t reduce their losses.
There will be a time in the very near future when insurers of corporations, as well as local, county, state agencies will start refusing to insure for such losses or require higher budget busting premiums unless that loss prevention interviewing and interrogation training programs and philosophies change.
Sounds like it’s about time for an end to “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”