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Negotiations: Crisis and Hostage Assignment Help

Combine principles and applications from criminal justice, psychology, communications, business and other disciplines into a framework for hostage negotiation.

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There are various crisis situations that lead to the outcome of an event. One such crisis situation is hostages when an individual or a group of people are held as security for fulfilling their demand (Lewis, & Ireland, 2019). To manage such a situation, every country has their crisis negotiation team. These team members are effective in dealing with such people who are involved in domestic, criminal incidents. The communication for negotiator side is mostly conducted over the phone and is away from the hostage scene. Crisis negotiation is basically a technique of law enforcement that is used for communicating with the individuals who are threatening to conduct any violent activities(Guszkowski,& Van Hasselt, 2017). It is primarily an implied area of the police work where the negotiator is able to control and respond to the real situation. Over the past few years, there has been a significant development in the field of crisis or hostage negotiation, as mentioned in police psychology and law enforcement(Johnson, Thompson, Hall, & Meyer, 2018). The crisis negotiation primarily focuses on three components; (i) behavioral change stairway model, (ii) crisis management, (iii) role-playing and raining(Sikveland, Kevoe-Feldman, & Stokoe, 2019). For effective negotiation practice, the team should focus seriously on a well-written script. They should be continuously briefed and updated about the victims and hostage takers. The primary objective of a crisis or hostage negotiation is to use the verbal strategy for asking time and create intervention, in order to decrease emotion and increase rationality of the perpetrator(Oostinga, Giebels, & Taylor, 2018). Crisis negotiation is considered as the most effective tool of law enforcement. It is able to successfully resolve and save the lives of thousands of hostages, kidnapped victims, and barricade from all over the world. According to a report by Oostinga, et al (2018), more than 87% reported incidents have successfully resolved with the help of negotiation without any case of death or injury of victims. The report discusses about the principle related to criminal justice, psychology, allocation, and business in a framework hostage negotiation. In addition to this, the characteristics and skills required for successful negotiation has been mentioned. The stepwise protocol for a negotiation has been also included in the report. 

Characteristics of a negotiator

A good crisis negotiator should be a buck-passer, non-authority figure, fumbled, minor hard of hearing, and not too bright(Guszkowski et al, 2017). The negotiator should keep a chip on this shoulder. In addition to this, the rate of success is higher when there exists maximum experience while dealing successfully with other similar cases(Grubb, Brown,& Hall, 2018). Since, it is a group event, all the members should equally support each other. If one person fails, then the entire team will fail. It has been stated by Lewis et al (2019)that a good negotiator uses his/her words for diffusing critical as well as life-and-death situations. According toLewis et al (2019), training and life experience will make a negotiator better and successful. In addition to this, the negotiator is a police officer who has been dealing with people regularly or investigating, then he/she adds to his/her critical thinking ability. The police officers are given sufficient training to take charge and act quickly along with authority. The role of a police psychologist is basically as a trainer, advisor, profiler, coach, and primary negotiator(Guszkowski et al, 2017). One of the most common features of hostage demand home sweet a specific deadline. The role of negotiator in such a situation is to pass the deadline by engaging the other person in communication. Moreover, if criminals do not contact from their side then the negotiator tries to initiate communication before the given deadline in order to engage them(Newsome, Stewart, & Mosavi, 2017). In addition to this, it is to be considered that the criminal should not get irritated through this conversation and act in an impulsive manner. 

Principles of negotiation

One of the most important principles of criminal justice is that an individual cannot be found guilty for a crime without having the intention of committing the crime that is questioned(Schneider, &Lewicki, 2016). Ignorance of the law cannot justify for excuse from criminal law. Therefore, if an individual believes the legality of an act and agrees that it is performed intentionally, then it meets the legal requirement of the criminal's intention. Another approach that can help in exempting a person from criminal liability is it for more involuntary conduct which is called as automatized (Newsome et al, 2017). This is the form of activity in which the body is not in control of the mind such as sleepwalking. Thus, if the person involved in the criminal activity is proved to suffering from mental disorders, then the punishment can be reduced. Thus the abnormal psychology used by crisis negotiators includes the major mental illness like paranoia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and substance abuse(Schneider et al, 2016). In addition to this, there are some personality disorders that can be used in such cases like antisocial, narcissistic, and borderline. This principle of drawing the “intention” of the criminal can be used as a negotiation approach for the negotiator with the criminal or hostage taker(Newsome et al, 2017). In this way, the negotiator can convince the criminal to leave the hostages and in return, they can minimize their punishment by proving them mentally retarded. This principle connects both mental health as well as criminal law, and it would help in handling the life and death responsibilities involved in and crisis intervention(Guszkowski et al, 2017). The psychological principle for hostage negotiation is found to be more productive in different crisis situations such as terrorism, school, workplace, domestic violence, are any political issue(Tasa, & Bell, 2017). In this case, police psychologists would be more effective and efficient to handle and resolve crisis negotiations with law enforcement. 

Experience and Innovation can be used effectively in a framework of basic protocol structure and thereby managing the hostage situation. Therefore, for effective psychological principles and practices, two basic approaches should be followed (i) securing perimeter, (ii) providing for scene control(Schneider et al, 2016). In the case of securing the perimeter, the high-tension area is isolated and secured. It is necessary to inform the armed services not to roam around the hostage area, which is highly populated. In general, the parameter should be highly spacious so that the negotiation team and the tactical team can move freely (Guszkowski et al, 2017). However, the area should be under control and monitor continuously by higher authorities to identify the next action of the criminal. In the second approach, provision is made for the same control(Newsome et al, 2017). It is needed to be considered that despite a crisis situation, the other regular activities near the area should go on. The negotiator holds the dual responsibility of working in the real world of the surrounding environment and trying to get the community involved in the negotiation work if possible. This approach includes gathering medical services, dealing with the media, handling local traffic, and keeping the public informed about the local crisis for safety purposes(Schneider et al, 2016). 

Apart from psychological principles, negotiators need to follow the communication principle as well. An effective form of communication should be established with the high-tension area as an approach for negotiation (Lewis et al, 2019). The sooner the local public in high-tension area informed and negotiated to avoid the hostage area, then there will be a minimum drastic effect(Grubb et al, 2018). Face-To-Face communication between the negotiator and high tension is basically discouraged due to potential danger(Guszkowski et al, 2017). In this context, the negotiator should adopt a cell phone, bullhorn, email, digital pager, or land-line phone. Furthermore, the background distraction behind the high tension area and negotiator should be minimized. These distractions may be the inclusion of more than one person in the communication at a time, road noise, or the background radio charter(Newsome et al, 2017). If there exists a noise from the criminal’s side, then the negotiator to request him to go to a quieter area in the room, or speak in a high volume for clarity in the communication channel (Guszkowski et al, 2017).

Skills of Hostage negotiator

According to behavioural change stairway model, the steps of behavioural change includes active listening, empathy, rapport, control, and influence. Following this model work in a systematic manner will help to achieve success and save life of innocent hostages. 

Active listening - Active listening is one of the major skills required in z negotiator to deal effectively. Through active listening, they are able to open new doors for building relationships and developing trust with the criminal. In this way a non-threatening way of response, that is disarming and also invites cooperation. Within the active listening skills, the negotiator must include open-ended questions, paraphrasing, mirroring, and emotional labelling (Guszkowski, 2017). The open-ended questions should be such that it stimulates the other person to talk, which should not be in one or two words answer. Active listening is effective when the negotiator develops empathy and rapport with the other side. Active listening is considered as important in this context, because it engages the person involved in a crisis in the talking process, and thereby reduces the scope of any disaster (Schneider et al, 2016). The negotiators should also provide brief comments to the other person which makes them understand that they are being heard(Tasa et al, 2017). This eventually minimizes generation of any negative emotions

Time - Similarly, time is considered as the greatest weapon for a negotiator. The negotiator tries to slow down things, instead of trying to achieve a quick resolution. They should avoid the rushing process;as it will only develop negative emotions (Schneider et al, 2016). In this context, the negotiator follows Law Enforcement Negotiation Stairways (LENS) model(Oostinga et al, 2018). According to this model, the three basic steps negotiations, that is communication, negotiation and voluntary compliance. 

Empathy and Rapport - Building empathy and rapport is also an effective way of behavioural change in the criminal. For this purpose, try to understand the present emotions and behaviour. With the intention of building rapport, the negotiators will give attention, coordination, and positivity towards the other person's communication(Grubb, Brown, Hall, & Bowen, 2019). In addition to this, it is believed that rapport building is solely dependent on active listening, as well as verbal and nonverbal communication. Prior to establishment of rapport, one should not try to implement behavioural change, a it may lead to negative consequences. 

Control - The person created the crisis situation feels that they have no control over their lives, which forces them to choose this path. It is therefore important for the negotiator to make the person involved in the decision-making process and give them importance (Grubb et al, 2019). They should be made the part of the process, rather than demanding from them(Tasa et al, 2017). They are allowed to talk and express their emotions. In such a situation the police officers who act as negotiators should not lose their control and emotional over the situation as well. 

Influence - In order to influence the person on the other side, the negotiator must use the above skills, that is, active listening, empathy and rapport, and giving control. In this way, the hostage crisis can be negotiated and resolved at hand(Grubb et al, 2019). It slows down the activities of the criminal on the other side and builds connection. In addition to this, it is also necessary to understand their problem requirements and issues, so as to influence their behaviour towards a positive path. 

Negotiation procedure

There are basically steps of negotiation, that is, immediacy, control, assessment, deposition, referral and follow up, and stress Management. In the first step of immediacy, the crisis negotiator is needed to take immediate action. The negotiator should be capable enough and should know what to do and that particular situation(Newsome et al, 2017). For instance, if a person threatens of doing suicide, then immediate action of intervention is needed. In this context, is needed to the rapport, care and empathy with the other person. They should demonstrate that they are caring and concerned about them and their situation. The next step is about control. The people experiencing a crisis in their life is mostly referred to as out of control. The extreme high level of stress which forced them to conduct the crisis(Lewis et al, 2019). This lack of control and heavy stress sometimes leads to bizarre behaviour in them in crisis situations. The negotiator in such condition should try to impose the control which is lacking in their life. This can be done through their words and actions(Newsome et al, 2017). The third step is about assessment, which is considered a vital element in the intervention process. In such as situation, negotiator should gather valuable information as well as history of the criminal. Some of the important areas of assessment includes; psychological issues, medical history, job losses, personality traits, current behaviour, and suicidal ideation(Johnson et al, 2018). Assessment of the current situation will happen in gathering information which will be helpful in handling the crisis. The fourth step is deposition, which is the response of the negotiator towards the victim. This response is basically based on intelligence information which has been collected(Tasa et al, 2017). Upon analysing, and evaluating this information, how to take action in order to assist victims. The action on response can be in the form of assisting exploring resources, designing alternatives, and finding alternative ways of managing situation. the fifth estate in negotiation process is referral and follow-up (Grubb et al, 2019). This is considered as the hardest part in any negotiation process. In this context it is advisable to give suggestions slowly by developing rapport(Pelabere, & Le Flanchec, 2018). On the other hand, if they are given suggestions quickly prior to development of credibility, them the victims may not take it seriously. However, the job as intervener is done effectively then there is greater chance the people will take the suggestion seriously. Effective follow up will help in identifying the degree to which the victim is provided with help(Newsome et al, 2017). In addition to this, the follow-up is also helpful in getting sufficient research data, I'm gaining insight about previous successful negotiation and intervention attempts. Sufficient follow up is often restricted due to the pressure from police work. The final step of negotiation process is stress management of both personal and the victims. Everyone uses different strategies to handle stress, get out of it. Managing the streets in such as crisis situation might help in reducing any loss of lives or resources. There are various factors which may lead to continuous rise of stress, such as, type of situation, initial information, scene location, time of response, and level of urgency(Tasa et al, 2017). 


In summary, the report provides a detailed illustration of negotiation in a crisis or hostage situation. In this context, the basic characteristics as well as the skills of the negotiator has been outlined. The negotiator should have active listening, empathy, rapport, control, and influence skills for driving behavioural change in the other person. However, in a negotiation with demand and deadline situation, flexibility is the most required feature in a negotiator. Effective training and role playing helps the negotiator team to deal the situation in actual scenario, as it is based on life and death. Further, the report also discusses the principles related to criminal justice, psychology, allocation, and business in a hostage negotiation. Finally, a detailed negotiation process, that comprises of immediacy, control, assessment, deposition, referral and follow up, and stress management has been discussed in that report. Hostage negotiation often include stressed condition, emotional swings, life risk, and tiredness in both the sides. It is therefore necessary for the negotiator to patiently handle the situation and save the lives of innocent victims. Hence, the inclusion of negotiation procedure is considered as the most principle of psychology as well as law enforcement technique. 

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