Hypnosis and the Department of Justice (DOJ)

Hypnosis and the Department of Justice (DOJ)

Background

According to the Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual – Use of Hypnosis:

“In certain limited cases, the use of forensic hypnosis can be an aid in the investigative process. Witnesses to crimes have been able to recall certain facets of the crime while in a hypnotic state that they had not remembered without hypnosis. The use of hypnosis, however, is subject to serious objections and thus should be used only on rare occasions.

The information obtained from a person while in a hypnotic trance cannot be assumed to be accurate. Therefore, any information obtained by the use of hypnosis must be thoroughly checked as to its ultimate accuracy and corroborated. It would therefore be advisable to first consult with a board-certified forensic psychologist/ psychiatrist to ascertain if the matter in question is appropriate for the application of forensic hypnosis. Because of the question of admissibility with regard to information retrieved within a hypnosis session, Assistant United States Attorneys should also consider the appropriateness and potential application of the cognitive interview before using hypnosis. The cognitive interview is a non-hypnotic structured interview that is used to enhance the witness’s ability to remember an event by engaging in a reconstruction of to: the context in which the event took place.”

Document Archive

  Hypnosis Policy of the Department of Justice [13 Pages, 2.9MB]

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