School resource officers: interrogation training, developmental knowledge, and questioning practices
Caro Arroyave, Sara
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Given the prevalence of School Resource Officers (SROs) in American schools, it is surprising that relatively little is known empirically about SRO training, including with regard to their questioning of students suspected or accused of offending in schools. We surveyed 287 eligible SROs from the U.S. We focused on how SROs are trained with respect to questioning students in schools and how this is related to SROs’ developmental knowledge and questioning practices in the schools. We conceptualized training as reported attendance of the Reid interrogation training (RIT) or child/youth-specific interviewing/interrogation training (DIT: developmental interrogation training). Overall, RIT and non-RIT SROs demonstrated similar developmental knowledge and used similar questioning tactics. The few differences that emerged suggest that RIT SROs are using more advisable techniques than non-RIT SROs. Moreover, DIT SROs demonstrated less knowledge concerning children’s comprehension of their Miranda rights, and endorsed several of the ‘more advisable’ tactics, at significantly higher rates than non-DIT. More knowledge is required regarding the child/youth oriented interviewing/interrogation training.