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Timely disclosures mean timely interventions for young offenders and victims

Researchers: Professor Michael Lamb

Project overview

This project builds on previous research funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which developed interview procedures to improve the quality of investigative interviews with children who may have been sexually abused, but are reluctant to disclose and describe their experiences.

The rationale for this project was that better interviewing will lead, in turn, to better decision-making in both the child-protection and criminal justice arenas, ensuring that children are better protected and treated; and previous research has convincingly documented an effect on criminal convictions.

This grant funds two new elements in this ongoing research endeavour. The first aims to assess the value of cognitively and emotionally supportive practices when interviewing young alleged offenders. The second questions the received wisdom that conducting multiple interviews with suspected victims of crime inevitably leads to suggestion and coercion by the interviewer. This is important because around half of suspected victims fail to disclose when interviewed only once, and multiple emotionally supportive interviews could represent a useful tool to elicit disclosure.


  • Professor Michael Lamb
    Primary researcher
    University of Cambridge

  • Ash Patel
    Programme Head, Justice
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Justice
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.