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Non-verbal Communication in Law Enforcement

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Resource: Ch. 4 in Effective Communication for Criminal Justice Professionals

Grubb, R. E. Jr., & Hemby, K. V.. (2003). Effective communication for criminal justice
professionals. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group.

Describe ways to improve nonverbal communication in 800-1,150 words. Use
information and citations from Ch. 4 to discuss the following questions:
How do you know that your perception of what is being communicated is accurate?
Which nonverbal cues can potentially convey a misunderstanding? An
How can criminal justice professionals build strong nonverbal communication skills?
Illustrate each point with personal or professional examples.

Please see attachment - Chapter 4

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Accuracy of Non-verbal Communication

The simplest example perhaps of non-verbal communication conveyed to the public is those images of criminals - cuffed, in prison jumpsuits and being herded into jail. No need for words here, the message of the visual is clear - you do the crime, you do the time. Visual images convey meaning, especially photography because we can associate them easily with the reality of how things are in the society we live in. We know why they are wearing orange jumpsuits and why they are in cuffs; they are convicts, hence the police escort into jail cells. While visual communication easily 'tells' and conveys meaning, Body language, Kinesics confirm human emotion on a personal level. Kinesics, the science of body language is employed by law enforcement & the military to certain advanced levels to 'read' suspects as well as bring about a productive interrogation of individuals in custody to arrive at the needed information in pursuit of justice & security. While kinesics is used in law enforcement to read body language to arrive at useful clues towards the resolution of cases, it has another application - in theatre, dance & the movies, this is of course another story. It is important though to note that body language is communication-wise effectively ...

Solution Summary

Communication, the act of exchanging ideas, opinions & messages is primarily verbal either by speech or textual data (letters, books, published materials, billboards, etc.). In law enforcement however, police officers are trained at reading kinesics - the science behind body language. This solution looks at the various forms of kinesics employed in policing & law enforcement by providing a discussion replete with examples to illustrate non-verbal communication in situations of interrogation, interview, observation & general policing duties. It also look at the levels of accuracy of reading body language & provides a small discussion on the dangers of inaccurate body-language reading.