International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Innocence Organizations to Educate Criminal Justice Stakeholders on Psychological Factors that Contribute to Wrongful Convictions

New Video Series Supplements Trainings for Law Enforcement and Others Working in Criminal Justice

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is joining  the Innocence Project, the Ohio Innocence Project and other members of the Innocence Network to release a series of videos to educate law enforcement and criminal justice professionals about the psychological phenomena that can impede criminal investigations and prosecutions, and lead to wrongful convictions. The seven videos feature leading experts discussing how to recognize psychological factors, such as memory malleability and implicit bias, that affect investigations and prosecutions as well as highlighting some of the safeguards that can be employed to prevent wrongful convictions.  The videos are available at law.uc.edu/human-factors.html.

IACScreenshot_2018-11-19 Sherry Nakhaeizadeh FINAL_6a movP has been a leader in promoting reforms that reduce wrongful convictions, as far back as 2006 with the release of a key training on eyewitness identification, in 2010 and 2016 with the releases of model policies, in 2013 with the summit on wrongful convictions and in 2017 with the production of a roll call video series on eyewitness identification.

“Law enforcement officials are human and are susceptible to the same psychological phenomena that can adversely affect decision-making,” said Paul M. Cell, president of the IACP.  “We are excited to be partnering with innocence organizations to make these videos available because education and training are critical to ensuring that these phenomena don’t adversely affect investigations.”

The videos focus on human flaws that have been proven to contribute to wrongful conviction, and ere designed to complement trainings for stakeholders from all corners of the criminal justice community, from law enforcement to crime lab personnel to prosecutors and defense lawyers.

“While these videos were designed to be used in conjunction with more thorough trainings, we wanted to make them more broadly available online so they are accessible at all times to remind people working in criminal justice to be more aware of the psychological traps that can undermine even the most dedicated and diligent actors,” said Mark Godsey, director of the Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project.Screenshot_2018-11-19 Jim Trainum FINAL_v6a mov(1)

Rebecca Brown, policy director of the Innocence Project which is affiliated with the Cardozo School of Law, added: “Presenting the psychological factors that contribute to human error in a neutral manner by experts with deep knowledge of the criminal justice system will hopefully encourage a dialogue among professionals, including police, prosecutors, forensic examiners, and defense lawyers, and encourage them to ask themselves and each other if any of these factors may be influencing their work.”

For online access to the videos and more information, visit law.uc.edu/human-factors.html.  Below is a short description of the seven videos:

Confirmation Bias – Dr. Sherry Nakhaeizadeh explains how people tend to interpret evidence in a way that confirms their assumptions and preconceptions.

Memory Malleability – Dr. Elizabeth Loftus discusses how memory is constructed and how it is susceptible to being manipulated by false information.

Eyewitness Misidentification – Dr. Jennifer Dysart explains how memory affects identification and how to prevent eyewitness misidentifications.

False Confessions – Dr. Saul Kassin explains how interrogation techniques can cause innocent people to falsely confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

Lie Detection and Demeanor Evidence – Dr. Par-Anders Granhag exposes the myth that it is possible to tell whether or not someone is being truthful from their physical ticks and mannerisms.

Tunnel Vision – Retired Detective Jim Trainum explains the harm of focusing on a single or limited police or prosecutorial theory and seeking only evidence that confirms that particular theory.

Implicit Bias – Professor L. Song Richardson explains how personal experiences shape our views and can result in unintentional bias.

For inquiries about further information on this project, contact:

Julia Lucivero, 212-364-5371, jlucivero@innocenceproject.org

Sarah Guy, 703-647-7226, guy@theiacp.org

Carey Hoffman, 513-289-1379, Ohio Innocence Project

 

 

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