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Juveniles possess less maturity, intelligence, and competence than adults, heightening their vulnerability in the justice system.
For this reason, states try juveniles in separate courts and use different sentencing standards than for adults. Yet, when police bring kids in for questioning, they use the same interrogation tactics they use for adults,
including trickery, deception, and lying to elicit confessions or to produce incriminating evidence against the defendants.
In Kids, Cops, and Confessions, Barry Feld offers the first report of what actually happens when police question juveniles. Drawing on remarkable data, Feld analyzes interrogation tapes and transcripts, police reports, juvenile court filings and sentences, and probation and sentencing reports, describing in rich detail what actually happens in the interrogation room. Contrasting routine interrogation and false confessions enables police,
lawyers, and judges to identify interrogations that require enhanced scrutiny,
to adopt policies to protect citizens, and to assure reliability and integrity of the justice system. Feld has produced an invaluable look at how the justice system really works.
About the Author
Barry C. Feld is Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Minnesota and author or editor of many books, including Kids, Cops, and Confessions and Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court.
Table of Contents
1. Interrogating Criminal Suspects: Law on the Books and Law in Action
2. Questioning Juveniles: Law and Developmental Psychology
3. To Waive or Not to Waive: That Is the Question
4. Police Interrogation: On the Record
5. Juveniles Respond to Interrogation: Outcomes and Consequences
6. Justice by Geography: Context, Race, and Confessions
7. True and False Confessions: Different Outcomes, Different Processes
8. Policy Reforms
Appendix 1: Data and Methodology
Appendix 2: Where the Girls Are
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
“Feld takes us on a fascinating journey into that most private of public places —the precinct interrogation room. There, kids prove no match for cops. Feld shows how minors are especially vulnerable, and why the protections we afford to adults do not suffice for kids, particularly younger juveniles. Kids, Cops, and Confessions is a careful and important account of our system, chock full of insights.”-Charles Weisselberg,Shannon C. Turner Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law
“Feld offers a dispassionate inside view of a social event that is largely hidden—the interrogation room encountered by juvenile suspects. The result challenges our stereotypes, exposing us to crime investigators at their best and worst, kids at their most naïve and savvy, and policies that were meant to protect juveniles but sometimes grease the wheels for interrogators. This book offers new hypotheses for further research, as well as realities that reformers must take into account when forging better laws, policies and practices for police interrogation of young people.” -Thomas Grisso,author of Evaluating Juveniles' Adjudicative Competence