Polygraph

Compulsory lie detector tests for serious sex offenders

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 11:31 GMT Jump to Comments

Sex offenders on licence will now face some of the world’s toughest approaches to supervision.

Probation officers have begun training to become polygraph examiners, putting some of the most serious sex offenders in the community under stringent tests. Around 1,000 offenders will undergo compulsory lie detector tests to ensure they are sticking to their licence conditions.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: "This government is introducing lie detector tests for high risk sexual offenders, as well as satellite tagging to track their movements. We are determined that the UK has one of the toughest regimes in the world for managing sex offenders, to stop reoffending and to protect victims”.

Compulsory lie detector testing will start from October 2014, once officer training has been completed. Offenders will be required to take the test every six months and, if found to have been hiding inappropriate behaviour, are likely to be recalled to prison.

Testing will be in addition to existing licence conditions, which can include signing the sex offenders register, exclusion zones, non-contact orders, curfews, internet restrictions and compliance with sex offender treatment programmes.

Professor Don Grubin, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Newcastle University and training lead, said: “Polygraph tests can be an important tool in the management of sex offenders and can enhance provisions already in place.

"Previous studies have shown that polygraph testing both facilitates the disclosure of information and alerts offender managers to possible deception, allowing them to work with offenders in a more focused way”.

The lie detector is the latest in a series of plans to tighten up controls on sex offenders, which will also see their every movement tracked by satellite tags, when the technology is available. Libido suppressant drugs can also be prescribed to further reduce the risk posed by this group of offenders.

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