The High Value Detaniee Group research confirms the core principles of the Reid Technique

Written By: Joseph P. Buckley
Oct 20, 2021

In his article, “Law Enforcement Has Been Interrogating Incorrectly. Science Reveals a Better Way”, (October 19, 2021) he reports that the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (Meissner, Surmon-Bohr, Oleszkiewicz and Alison) criticized the commonly utilized Reid Technique of interrogation.

In fact, the HIG group confirmed the efficacy of the Reid Technique. We posted this information on our website in May 2015

High Value Detainee Group research validates the core principles of The Reid Technique

From the Scientific American (Vol. 26, Issue 23; 2014) an article entitled, "How to Extract a Confession...Ethically" confirms the basic tenant of the Reid Technique - always treat the subject with understanding and empathy.

In 2009 President Barack Obama convened the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), made up of cognitive and social psychologists and other experts. This winter the HIG released its findings in a special issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology.

The research concluded the following:

• Coming across as empathetic causes interrogation targets to open up more

Since 1947 the core principle of the Reid Technique has always been to treat the suspect with empathy and understanding. In our book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions (5th edition, 2013) in Chapter 6, Qualifications, Attitude, and General Conduct of the Investigator, we state the following:

Treat the suspect with decency and respect, regardless of the nature of the offense. No matter how revolting or horrible a crime may be (such as a sexually motivated, brutal killing of a small child), the suspect should not be treated or referred to as a despicable, inhumane individual. A sympathetic, understanding attitude and interrogation approach is far more effective. In one of many cases that could be used to illustrate this point, a sex offender, after his confession, said, "I would have told the officers about this earlier if they had only treated me with some decency and respect."

Many of the findings of the HIG research confirms the Reid Technique, including their conclusion that the investigator should "tell your target a story about what he or she did, leading the person to believe you already know what happened." This is exactly what we do in the development of our interrogation theme. In Chapter 13, The Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation, we state that the theme development should focus on describing the suspect's behavior in light of reasons and motives that will psychologically justify or excuse his behavior - reinforcing "the guilty suspect's own rationalizations and justifications for committing the crime."

If Mr. Pomeroy had done any rudimentary research at all, he would have discovered our YouTube channel, The Reid Technique Tips on which we have posted dozens of videos discussing numerous aspects of the Reid Technique… are a few:

Description of the Reid Technique

The Core Principles of the Reid Technique

Best Practices

False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered Part One

False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered Part Two

Too often we see a reporter who has an agenda and writes their story to support that agenda/position, rather than doing an objective effort to research the issue from both sides… the very least he should have called us to ask us about the HIG and their conclusions.
Joseph P. BuckleyPresidentJohn E. Reid and Associates800-255-5747 ext 19