Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 5 Issue 3 (August 1995), Pages fmi-fmi, 147-217

Police interviewing: The identification of vulnerabilities (pages 147-159)


Failure to identify potential psychological vulnerabilities of people entering the Criminal Justice System continues to present a serious problem for the police and other agencies. This paper reviews some of the problems involved which include: the nature of the handicap itself, current guidelines and definitions, and somewhat arbitrary legal interpretations by the courts. An experiment is described in which police officers chose not to identify someone as vulnerable or ‘at risk’, despite information in all conditions having been biased towards eliciting a positive judgement.

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