Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

5-2010

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Department

Criminal Justice

Major Advisor

Jeremy Ball, J.D., Ph.D.

Abstract

The following research is an exploratory study into the level of congruence of Idaho law enforcement agencies to nationally recommended best practices in eyewitness identification procedure. Based on a series of questions relating specifically to the use of recommended procedures in eyewitness identification, law enforcement agencies were graded and assessed an individual score within two different levels of congruence: overall and functional. With three possible groups, desirable, average, and poor, the majority of Idaho departments received scores placing them in average standing for both overall and functional congruence. Three dominant themes in the research (agency type, written procedure, and officer training) were also paired with overall and functional congruence to gauge their relationship, if any, with congruence to the recommended practices. It was hypothesized that if a department had a written procedure for conducting eyewitness identifications they would be more compliant than departments without written procedures. While this was partially true, officer training appears to have the greatest impact on congruence for law enforcement agencies in the State of Idaho.

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