Manhattan District Attorney Trains Prosecutors in Science Based Interviewing (2022)

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New York County District Attorney’s Office (New York, NY)

Population: 1,630,000 | Number of Full-Time Prosecutors: 525

In Manhattan, the District Attorney’s Office of New York, brought in expert instructors  to train investigators and prosecutors in Science Based Interview (SBI) techniques derived from research conducted by members of U.S. Intelligence Agencies in support of the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group. The methods of interviewing are based on scientific research and designed to improve communication with suspects, victims and witnesses.

This scientific approach eschews prior tactics that involve police deception in favor of motivational interviewing and rapport building tailored to each unique target’s psychological needs. The training length is 40 hours, but involves hands on exercises and introduction of the science behind the approach.  The approach is of specific interest to prosecutors as a proven way to decrease false confessions and improve community views of police conduct. Most importantly, it has been proved reliable in securing information that can later be used to assist in prosecutions of guilty offenders.