Angie Chen


Major: Criminal Justice

Thesis Advisor: Professor Demosthenes Long, Ed.D, JD

Document Type



The research questions that this thesis explored were “Why the Reid Technique is Ineffective for Law Enforcement Interrogations?” and “How a Non-Accusatory Model of Interview Can Be Applied in Law Enforcement Interviews in the United States.” In recent years, the harmful effects of using a confrontational, adversarial interrogation method, such as the Reid technique, have emerged. These interrogation methods are based on pseudoscience. The effects of these types of interrogation methods can include psychological harm and false confessions. Professionals and officials in the law enforcement field are exploring new options for interviewing including non-accusatory methods such as the PEACE model. A non-accusatory method of interviewing can aid in obtaining more information while mitigating the risks of an accusatory method.

To explore these questions, interviews were conducted with Dr. Brent Snook and Mr. David Thompson. Dr. Snook is an academic that researches how science can be applied to the criminal justice system including in interviews and interrogations. Mr. Thompson is the Vice President of Operations for Wicklander-Zulawski, an investigative and consulting company that focuses on utilizing non-accusatory methods of interviewing. From these interviews, Dr. Snook and Mr. Thompson confirmed what has been published about the Reid technique and how it is an ineffective technique to use in modern law enforcement interviews. The PEACE model of interviewing is a model based in science that can be applied to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. The adoption of non-accusatory methods in certain U.S. law enforcement agencies suggest that change is possible. This adoption can be accelerated if a federal mandate is created that requires U.S. law enforcement agencies to adopt a non-accusatory method of interviewing like the PEACE model and discontinue use of accusatory methods such as the Reid technique.