Facilitating child witness interviews' understanding of evidential requirements through prosecutor instruction

Burrows, Kimberlee S, Powell, Martine B and Anglim, Jeromy 2013, Facilitating child witness interviews' understanding of evidential requirements through prosecutor instruction, International Journal of Police Science & Management, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 263-272, doi: 10.1350/ijps.2013.15.4.316.

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Title Facilitating child witness interviews' understanding of evidential requirements through prosecutor instruction
Author(s) Burrows, Kimberlee S
Powell, Martine BORCID iD for Powell, Martine B orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Anglim, JeromyORCID iD for Anglim, Jeromy orcid.org/0000-0002-1809-9315
Journal name International Journal of Police Science & Management
Volume number 15
Issue number 4
Start page 263
End page 272
Total pages 10
Publisher Vathek Publishing
Place of publication Isle of Man, UK
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1461-3557
Keyword(s) Child sexual abuse
Investigative interviewing
Child witness
Summary Prosecutors report that the evidential usefulness of child witness statements about abuse is often limited by unnecessary interview content and excessive length. Prior research indicates that this limitation may be attributed to a mismatch between interviewers' and prosecutors' understandings of the legal requirements of an interview. The aim of this study is to examine whether differences in the evidential qualities that are perceived as important by prosecutors and interviewers can be reduced through simple instruction. Five prosecutors and 33 interviewers completed a written exercise wherein participants were required to identify what aspects of information required follow-up in five hypothetical narrative accounts of abuse. Twenty of the interviewers had (prior to completing the exercise) received prosecutor instruction on the requirements of interviews in terms of the elements and particulars of sexual offences, and the manner in which necessary information is best elicited in an interview (from a legal perspective). The responses to the exercise of interviewers who had and had not received prosecutor instruction were compared. The results indicated that interviewers who had received instruction were more consistent with prosecutors in their responses to the exercise. The importance of these findings, and directions for future research, are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1350/ijps.2013.15.4.316
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Vathek Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061232

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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