Last week, criminal justice program instructors Janell and Tim Trocke hit the road to Baton Rouge, La., to present de-escalation techniques at the Louisiana Public Defender Board Investigator Workshop.
Specifically, the married duo, who have a combined criminal justice background of almost 30 years, shared insight with public defender investigators on how to de-escalate an interview with clients and witnesses.
Some of the content they covered included the structure of an interview, verbal and non-verbal calming tactics, communication barriers, and listening skills.
“My experience stems from more than a decade working on the enforcement side of criminal justice,” said Janell Trocke, “while Tim’s background includes years spent working on the enforcement side and on the investigator side.”
The Trocke’s combined background makes them a knowledgeable source on interview tactics since they have worked on both sides of the criminal justice system.
Along with acting as faculty presenters, the Trocke team was also able to attend the other sessions at the workshop—many of which focused on how to handle the influx of returning veterans.
“Returning to civilian life is a huge adjustment for veterans,” Janell Trocke said, “and unfortunately, many of them can’t adjust or don’t have the resources available to deal with the change so they end up in the criminal justice system.”
A similar phenomenon occurred when troops returned home from the Vietnam war—many of them ended up going through the criminal justice system and ending up homeless.
The main difference between that war and the one we face today is that society supports the troops now.
“It’s a different mission today,” Janell Trocke said. “We have the support systems in place; we just need to figure out how to get veterans to use them.”
Janell Trocke said the Louisiana workshop was the best she has ever been to and is excited to bring her newly learned content into the criminal justice classroom at Minnesota School of Business-Elk River.