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February 26, 2012

Inside Interrogation Room

Gathering Human Intelligence (Humintell) is the most challenging yet the most critical. Verifying authenticity of information being provided by individuals during investigation is always been a greater challenge for Law & Enforcement professionals across the world. On the basis on the same, they have to put up a case in court of law to punish criminals and save innocents.

While statement analysis remains strictly confined to scrutiny and verification of facts and figures only, nonverbal or behavioral analysis of suspects and criminals provides a wide spectrum of emotional information that otherwise would miss out without ever come of the surface. Different nonverbal clues given away by the individuals being questioned can convey affective (emotional), cognitive, associative and physical statuses at varying degrees.

Hence nonverbal or behavioral analysis is critically importance during investigation, apart of verbal information being provided by an individual under scrutiny. For the same, interrogation rooms have been setup by Law & Enforcement agencies in almost every country. Interrogation rooms are designed to discourage suspects and criminals from defending themselves and bring them to confess the crime they (might have) committed.

The kind of physical and psychological environment posed on unconscious mind of the individual under interrogation is that normally anybody could hardly manage to stay in for a long time willingly. Complete isolation from the rest of the world and the people is the key element to make an individual under scrutiny to feel completely alone, helpless and vulnerable. This puts a great pressure on the minds of many.

An individual being interrogated is often discouraged to act upon its own will and defend itself physically. To add into intensity of pressure and stress, the individual is put right beneath a small light source so that rest of the surrounding area remains under darkness and the individual being interrogated can't find how many individuals and entities are present and moving around it in the same enclosure.

Interrogation Chair ("Hot Seat")

Along with the same, enlarged lurking eyes of the interrogators from darkness induces enormous stress inside the human mind just like what a prey would feel during the last few moments before getting hunted by a fierce and merciless predator in the dark and thick forest. Darkness, isolation, confinement, no protective barriers and also the lack of comfort are good enough to break down the individual's defenses.

An individual being interrogated is often compelled to seat on a small chair with no arm rests thus restricting its movements to a limited physical area. However, interrogators can freely move back, forth and around it. In fact, they intrude personal comfort zone (personal and intimate zones in Proxemics) and try to break down psychological defense of the individual under scrutiny.

Under immense fear, criminals and suspects easily leak out unconscious distress body signs that expert eyes can easily catch and drill deeper into the minds and brains of individuals being interrogated for their direct or indirect connection with the crime, conspiracy, offense or wrong-doing.

True purpose of any interrogation procedure is not only to verify the information being provided by suspects and criminals but also to analyze their body language. The whole purpose it to try to detect the body language cue of lying or verbal deception given by the individuals under interrogation or questioning.

Solitary confinement to a limited physical space, being surrounded by unknown and strange individuals moving around in darkness and having no power of moving or defending oneself is more than enough to induce tremendous amount of stress to let true facts out and escape from the interrogation room unharmed, as early as possible.

[Special Note: Interrogation rooms and interrogation techniques might vary with country, agencies and interrogators. Some Law and Enforcement agencies might follow different techniques and tactics to bring out the information and make an individual to commit the crime.]

Related Articles:
1) Observation is the key 2) Proxemics 3) Fear Factor 4) Body Language of James Bond 5) Face of liar(?) 6) Analytical Interview: Are HR Professionals ready for it? 7) Are you a 'flying' terrorist? 8) Baseline 9) Nonverbal Advantage in Investigation

1 comment:

  1. The thing i find with this type of set up is the only emotion your going to pick up on is fear.

    A more calm and relaxed place will make the suspect feel more comfortable and therfore they will tend to leak more deceptive body language cues.


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