Interview strategies applied in adult criminal justice settings often focus on the interviewer's performance and on defined strategies to obtain tailored information for subsequent legal proceedings, while neglecting a forensic understanding of interviewees, including the interviewee's decision-making processes, social value systems, and possible behavioral health impairments. As a consequence, there is a deficiency of evidence-based research regarding interview practices with persons diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
The purpose of my qualitatively designed doctoral case study of a single justice system in the United States was to better understand the perspectives and experiences of interviewed ASPD diagnosed inmates compared to incarcerated· participants without any mental health diagnosis. Four interconnected modules , including the abilities of the interviewer, the involvement of the criminal justice system, the features of ASPD, and the prevalence of ASPD among the target population, defined the nature of communicating with this homogenous population. Using social control and neutralization theories as the foundation, and imbedding the findings of Hawthorne and Watzlawick as two so-called overarching components, I developed a conceptual framework for interviewing of adult inmates diagnosed with ASPD©.
I rigorously eliminated possible study data to minimize bias, to prevent ethical violations, and to tailor research goals to this specific population; while credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability of study results remained paramount. Notwithstanding any social and/or socio-economic factors, obtained data were triangulated with the GCQ-R, the Gudjonsson Confession Questionnaire - Revised. I inductively coded and then subjected data to thematic analysis procedures.
Study results indicate that external and internal pressures, intoxication, perception of proof, involvement of third parties, and/or a possible lack of insight into diagnostic features of ASPD influenced decisions to cooperate with an interviewer, thereby impacting the quality of interview results. The overwhelming presence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and comorbidity with additional behavioral health diagnoses in study participants strongly support the need for further research in collaboration with mental health professionals. The dissertation team defined this research project as the foundation of rethinking interview strategies for this population under specific circumstances and recommended additional research to further explore holistic interview strategies. Adhering to this recommendation may improve the quality of interviews and ensure that justice system objectives related to truthfulness and accuracy are enhanced as well as improve mental health outcomes of adult criminal offenders diagnosed with ASPD.
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