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A Community of Research Scholars

As an emerging national research university on the southwest border of the United States, the Center for Law & Human Behavior leverages its unique location and the unparalleled expertise of the faculty at UTEP to generate cutting cutting-edge research and program evaluation in support of the nation’s borders and the criminal justice system.







The goal of CLHB's research area is to identify, foster, create and increase expertise for the university in the thematic areas of Behavior, Law & the Homeland Security Enterprise, Trade & Travel, and Threat & Risk Management in order to promote related research and grant funding success.

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The goal of the CLHB's education area is to facilitate different forms of knowledge translation to create connections to the relevant practitioner, policy-maker and researcher communities, particularly in the areas of professional and transnational development, as well as policy briefs.




The goal of the CLHB's outreach area is to increase the center's visibility and showcase capabilities and capacities as a resource, establishing local, national, and international partnerships, and educating the public on the work that is being conducted in the area of borders.

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Homeland Security Symposium Series

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The Center for Law & Human Behavior (CLHB) at The University of Texas at El Paso, under the direction of the Borders, Trade and Immigration Institute (BTI), created the Homeland Security Symposium Series to increase the amount of education and training on DHS related issues and relevant security subject matter.

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UTEP's Leading Center
on Homeland Security Studies

The Center for Law & Human Behavior (CLHB) at The University of Texas at El Paso stands as an interdisciplinary, global and research-driven unit with a focus on borders and their communities through the development of empirically-based and community grounded and informed research.

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Symposium #7

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For the first time in more than 50 years, the US and UK governments have initiated research programs aimed at developing ethical, evidence-based methods of interview and interrogation that improve the amount of accurate information elicited by investigators. A review of this research will be offered to highlight key findings that are, for the first time, leading to evidence-based practices. The first half of the symposium will focus on techniques that have been developed for custodial interviews and interrogations, emphasizing the relational and informational objectives that underlie effective interview strategies. Scientifically validated approaches for developing rapport and trust, eliciting information, and assessing credibility will be described. The second half of the symposium will focus on effective strategies for conducting brief field interviews and screening assessments. Controlled Cognitive Engagement will be introduced as an evidence-based method for eliciting verbal accounts and testing the veracity these accounts in as little as 3 to 4 minutes. Across both segments, a team of researchers and practitioners will offer an integrative perspective on the theory, validation, and application of these science-based methods.


Dr. Christian Meissner - Iowa State University, USA 


Dr. Christian Meissner is Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive & Behavioral Science from Florida State University (2001) and conducts research on the psychological processes underlying investigative interviews, including issues surrounding the elicitation of memories, securing cooperation and engaging influence in the interrogation room, and assessing credibility. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and edited volumes, and has offered training on evidence-based approaches to U.S. military, intelligence, and federal law enforcement communities. Dr. Meissner’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Intelligence Community. He has received numerous national and international awards for his contributions to research in this area.

Download the POWERPOINTS (1, 2, and 3)


Dr. Coral Dando - University of Wolverhampton, UK


Dr. Coral Dando is a Professor of Psychology, an HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist, and a Chartered Scientist. She was awarded my PhD in Forensic Cognitive Psychology in 2008 after returning to academia following 12 years as a London police officer. Her primary research interests are centered on applying contemporary cognitive theories to investigate and understand cognition in goal directed settings, such as during face-to-face interviews, and when communicating in synthetic environments and via a computer. Dr. Dando is currently working on a number of collaborative research projects. For example, a) exploring the efficacy of innovative environmental supports tool for scaffolding older adults’ eyewitness remembering to improve access to justice, b) with funding from the UK government she is using novel mock suspect and persuasion paradigms to develop innovative techniques for detecting indicators of verbal deception in face-to-face and remote interviews, and for gathering information in virtual environments, and c) with several UK agencies she is developing veracity testing interview techniques to improve cooperation and information gain during interviews with suspected and convicted sex offenders.

Download the POWERPOINTS (1 and 2)


Col. Steven Kleinman - U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Operational Sciences International


Colonel Steven M. Kleinman (U.S. Air Force Ret.) is a career intelligence officer with 30 years of operational and leadership experience in assignments worldwide. He is a recognized subject matter expert in human intelligence, strategic interrogation, intelligence support to special operations, and special survival training. He has the distinction of serving both as the director of the Combat Interrogation Course and as the Department of Defense senior intelligence officer for resistance to interrogation training. Colonel Kleinman is a veteran of three major military campaigns (Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm, and Iraqi Freedom) where he served as an interrogator, case officer, chief of a joint and combined interrogation team, and as a senior advisor on interrogation operations to a special operations task force. He has been cited as one of the most prolific interrogators during the first Gulf War. He has testified on interrogation and detainee policy before five Congressional intelligence, armed services, and judiciary committees, and served as the senior advisor to the Intelligence Science Board’s 2005-2008 study on strategic interrogation. He has authored many publications in both professional and scholarly journals on issues of elicitation, interrogation, and credibility assessment. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, the National Intelligence University with a Master of Science in strategic intelligence, and the National University in San Diego with a Master of Science in forensic sciences. His professional military education includes the U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer School, Air Command & Staff College, and Air War College.


Erik L. Phillips, M.A. - Operational Sciences International

Erik Phillips is a former Army Special Operations and contract interrogator, and an Arabic linguist. His operational experience spans three combat theaters, and his reporting has proven instrumental in guiding decision-making ranging from tactical-level operations to national-level policy. He is uniquely qualified in exploiting Islamic extremist networks and in countering extremist propaganda and recruitment efforts. Mr. Phillips has earned both a BA and MA in Psychological Science from the University of Colorado at Colorado Spring, graduating with honors and focusing his research and studies on the science of interrogation and deception detection. 


Research in Brief
After-Action Report

Watch the Symposium Webcast
Intro and Section I: Developing an Evidence Based Perspective on Interviewing and Interrogation
Section II: Cooperation--Leveraging Persuasion and Establishing Trust
Section III: Disclosure Conversational Rapport and the Cognitive Interview
Section IV: Credibility Assessment Evidence Based Cues to Veracity
Section V: Controlled Cognitive Engagement--A Brief Interview Protocol for Portals