UVa. Study: Police Should Use Different Methods When Interrogating Teens

June 10, 2014

A new study by the University of Virginia suggests police should treat juveniles differently from adults during police investigations.

The study found about 20 percent of police officers have been trained in interrogating teenagers. Researchers say this is a problem because teens are more likely to be persuaded by police during an investigation or make impulsive decisions.

"Teenagers are more impulsive, they’re more suggestible to authority figures and they are more likely to weigh short term gain over long term consequences,” said Todd Warner, a researcher with UVa. “In an interrogation context it can sort of get them in trouble, those decision making tendencies.”

Warner says law enforcement should conduct special training to ensure police know how to interrogate teens.

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