A tool law enforcement is using to detect deception

New Jersey residents may be interested in learning about a tool out of the public eye that law enforcement agents use when determining if a suspect is guilty. The tool is called SCAN, or Scientific Content Analysis. More than 400 agencies across the United States, from small-town police departments to military agencies, have paid to be trained using this tool. However, there’s no reliable science behind it.

Gathering the information that will be analyzed using SCAN is simple. All a law enforcement agent or detective needs to do is give a suspect a pen and paper. The suspect will be asked to write down what they were doing when the crime they are suspected of committing took place. The law enforcement agent should then be able to use their training in SCAN to identify deception.

This tool rarely makes it into the courtroom because it is too unreliable. In fact, four scholars who examined this tool said that there was no dependable research showing that it actually works. It is similar to other investigative tools, like blood stain pattern and photo analysis. These tools may be able to guide investigators, but they are too unreliable to be used to prove a person’s guilt in court.

The creators of SCAN offer it as a tool to clear the innocent of crimes they have been accused of. After asking open questions, investigators can use the training they have received in order to look for signs of deception and analyze the responses.

An individual who has been accused of a crime needs to begin building a strong case as soon as possible. They may want to speak to an attorney. Criminal defense attorneys may look at the case by examining evidence and speaking to eyewitnesses with the goal of representing a client in court.