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Interviewing Child Witnesses and Victims Law Enforcement II.

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Presentation on theme: "Interviewing Child Witnesses and Victims Law Enforcement II."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interviewing Child Witnesses and Victims Law Enforcement II

2 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright © Texas Education Agency, These materials are copyrighted © and trademarked ™ as the property of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of TEA, except under the following conditions: 1) Texas public school districts, charter schools, and Education Service Centers may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for the districts’ and schools’ educational use without obtaining permission from TEA. 2) Residents of the state of Texas may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for individual personal use only, without obtaining written permission of TEA. 3) Any portion reproduced must be reproduced in its entirety and remain unedited, unaltered and unchanged in any way. 4) No monetary charge can be made for the reproduced materials or any document containing them; however, a reasonable charge to cover only the cost of reproduction and distribution may be charged. Private entities or persons located in Texas that are not Texas public school districts, Texas Education Service Centers, or Texas charter schools or any entity, whether public or private, educational or non-educational, located outside the state of Texas MUST obtain written approval from TEA and will be required to enter into a license agreement that may involve the payment of a licensing fee or a royalty. Contact TEA Copyrights with any questions you may have.TEA Copyrights 2

3 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Plan the Interview Proper preparation includes giving the child the choice of when and where to conduct the interview, the gender of the interviewer, and who will accompany the child 3

4 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Issues to consider –Location »The child needs to feel safe and comfortable »Child-friendly décor without being distracting »A private area devoid of noise »Age appropriate play materials 4 Plan the Interview (continued)

5 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Issues to consider (continued) –Timing Take the child’s routines into account when scheduling the interview Avoid embarrassing them by taking them out of class unless it is necessary –Number and duration of interviews A single interview is always preferred Balance the need for justice with the needs of child Give the child an approximate idea of how long the interview will last Discuss if breaks will be needed 5 Plan the Interview (continued)

6 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Tailor the interview to the child by considering the child’s –Age and gender –Race, culture, religion, ethnicity, and language –Cognitive and linguistic abilities –Present emotional state –Mental and physical health –Family composition and living arrangements –The nature of his or her relationship with family members –Daily routines, bedtimes, meals, baths, etc. –Sources of stress –Previous involvement with child services –Details of previous action taken and support 6 Plan the Interview (continued)

7 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Influence of the interviewer is important; the child needs support throughout the interview 7 Plan the Interview (continued)

8 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Building Rapport –Is very important, never omit it –Overcome initial hesitation, unease, or mistrust –Gain understanding of the child’s communication skills and cognitive/linguistic development –Reassure the child that it is not his or her fault 8 Conduct the Interview

9 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. The Interview Atmosphere –Age, attention span, and rapport building determine the pace –Speak slowly and clearly while allowing for pauses –Speak in a normal tone –Look for fatigue or the need for a break –Begin with general questions as a warm-up –Make them feel safe 9 Conduct the Interview (continued)

10 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Ground Rules –The child talks and the interviewer listens –The interviewer was not present at the event –Remind the child, “Even if you think I know, tell me anyway.” “It is okay to ask me to re-word or re-ask the question” –Do not give the child answers –The interviewer’s mistakes can be corrected 10 Conduct the Interview (continued)

11 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Telling the Truth –Make the child aware of the importance of telling the truth –Let the child tell the story in his or her own words –Discuss the difference between the truth and lies, and give concrete examples 11 Conduct the Interview (continued)

12 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Closure –Summarize the child’s statements –Check with the other interviewers to see if any additional questions are needed –Ask the child if he or she has any questions –Inform the child of the next step in the process –Provide him or her with contact information –Thank the child for his or her time and effort –Give the child time to compose himself or herself 12 Conduct the Interview (continued)

13 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Oral statements –Are admissible under Family Code (FC) if the statement tends to establish guilt, such as the findings of secreted or stolen property or instruments used in the crimeFamily Code (FC) The statement is res gestae (made spontaneously and instinctively) Is made in open court 13 Juvenile Guidelines

14 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Written statements –Are admissible under FC if the child is in custody of an officer and, before making the statement, had been taken to a magistrate with a statement packetFC The magistrate gives the child the Miranda warning The officer takes the written statement from the juvenile, but it must be in front of the magistrate The juvenile voluntarily waives the Miranda rights in the presence of the magistrate The officer returns the juvenile to the magistrate with the unsigned statement 14 Juvenile Guidelines (continued)

15 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) Investigator’s Course Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and the Family Code Officer’s Interrogation Handbook, Matthews Bender & Company, Inc., Charlottesville, 2004 Hamilton, Cheryl. Communicating for Results. Wadsworth, Thomson Learning. U.S., 2001 Do Internet search using the following key terms: –Gastonia Officer Shot Witness Interview Part 2 –Nathan’s Interrogation Video 15 Resources


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