Juvenile Interview and Interrogation

Juvenile Interview and Interrogation


The juvenile interview and interrogation landscape has undergone an unprecedented upheaval in the last decade as numerous studies have demonstrated that juveniles are particularly likely to give false information – and even falsely confess – when questioned by law enforcement. Based on this research, court decisions, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, are leading police to question juveniles differently than adults. The IACP, in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, have launched a series of training, tools, and resources for law enforcement on effective juvenile interview and interrogation.

1. Reducing Risks: An Executive's Guide to Effective Juvenile Interview and Interrogation

The IACP, in collaboration with OJJDP and the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University School of Law, launched this publication in 2014 to provide a guidebook of effective, developmentally-appropriate and legally-sound methods for interviewing and interrogating youth. The guidebook includes:

  • Recommended best practices for interrogation and investigative follow-up
  • Key cases highlighting court decisions that affect the policing field
  • Quotes from youth and investigators with experience in the interrogation room
  • Sample documents (i.e. Juvenile Pre-Interview/Interrogation Checklist, Interview Plan, Custodial Considerations Checklist)

Model Policy & Issues and Concepts Paper

The purpose of the IACP Model Policy on Interviewing and Interrogating Juveniles is to provide police officers with procedures for interviewing and interrogating juveniles that are both legal and consistent with the limitations in maturity and emotional development characteristic of juveniles. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the emotional and developmental differences between adults and juveniles and the implications that this has on the conduct of juvenile interviews in general and interrogations in particular. These differences must be taken into account when an officer conducts an interview or interrogation of a juvenile. Officers shall follow this policy in order to observe the legal rights of juveniles and protect against charges of police coercion or intimidation during interviews and interrogations of juveniles. This  2012 Model Policy has an accompanying Concepts & Issues Paper, issued in 2013.

Classroom Training Curriculum

The IACP, in collaboration with OJJDP, created the classroom training curriculum, Introduction to Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques. The IACP delivered this highly successful classroom training 39 times to over 2,100 law enforcement professionals, representing 38 U.S. states and three countries. The IACP is no longer federally-funded by OJJDP to provide this classroom training but is making the curriculum available to law enforcement and prosecution professionals. To request the classroom training curriculum, including the Facilitators’ Guide, Participant Workbook, activities and evaluation materials, and presentation slides, please email CTI@theiacp.org or call us at 1-800-THE-IACP ext. 815.

Online Introductory Training Series

The IACP, in collaboration with OJJDP, launched an online training series on juvenile interview and interrogation techniques in 2014. This introductory-level series includes four courses, including:

  • Introduction to Developing Rapport with Youth
  • Introduction to Analyzing Juvenile Behavior
  • Introduction to Juvenile Interviewing Techniques
  • Introduction to Juvenile Interrogation Techniques

Through interactive lessons and activities, participants will learn the fundamental investigative skills, tactics, and procedures that result in effective juvenile interviews and interrogations. The courses include instruction on:

  • Understanding adolescent development and youth culture and its impact on interviews and interrogations of juveniles
  • Interpreting youth behavior during an interview or interrogation
  • Techniques for building and establishing rapport with youth
  • Constructing age-appropriate statements and questions
  • Strategies and approaches designed for interviewing and interrogating youth
  • Cautions and considerations for interviewing and interrogating youth, including how to reduce the likelihood of false or coerced confessions.


These self-paced courses can be taken individually or combined as an entire training series, and are available free of charge. The courses are based on IACP/OJJDP’s classroom training, Introduction to Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques. These trainings are targeted to law enforcement who interview and/or interrogate youth. The techniques discussed in the courses focus on juvenile suspects and witnesses, ages 10 to 17, and do not cover child forensic interviewing. The training series is also open to allied juvenile justice professionals, but please note that only individuals legally authorized to interrogate youth will be granted access into the “Introduction to Juvenile Interrogation Techniques” course.

To register, visit: http://elearning-courses.net/iacp/

Online Intermediate Training Course

The IACP, in partnership with OJJDP, launched an online training titled Intermediate Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques in 2015. This training provides information on best practices and procedures in juvenile interview and interrogation tactics for law enforcement, with a focus on age-appropriate methods for improving interactions with youth during investigations. Training topics include:

  • Strategies for communicating with youth
  • Understanding youth body language and how it differs from adults
  • Developmentally appropriate strategies to elicit complete and accurate information during interviews and interrogations with youth
  • Strategies to safeguard youth from trauma during interviews and interrogations
  • Administering Miranda rights in an age-appropriate manner
  • Special considerations for diverse populations when interviewing or interrogating youth
  • Culturally specific communication styles that may impact interviewing youth
  • Ensuring admissible and true youth confessions.


This self-paced, interactive course is available at no-cost and is targeted to law enforcement who interview and/or interrogate youth. The techniques discussed in the course focus on juvenile suspects and witnesses, ages 10 to 17, and do not cover child forensic interviewing.

To register, visit: http://elearning-courses.net/iacp/

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