Background: Polygraphy is used increasingly in the treatment and supervision of sex offenders, but little research has address accuracy in this setting, or linked accuracy with utility. Aims: To investigate the utility and accuracy of polygraphy in post-conviction testing of community-based sex offenders. Method A self-report measure examined the experiences of offenders with polygraphy. Results: Based on self-report, the polygraph’s accuracy was approximately 85%. False negatives and false positives were not associated with demographic characteristics, personality variables or IQ. The majority of offenders found the polygraph to be helpful in both treatment and supervision. Nine percent of offenders claimed to have made false disclosures; these individuals had higher scores on ratings of neuroticism and lower scores on ratings of conscientiousness. Conclusions: These results support the view that the polygraph is both accurate and useful in the treatment and supervision of sex offenders.
This exploratory study investigates utility of New Jersey’s sex offender polygraph policy. The findings: The polygraph is an essential tool in determining residency with minors but not the sole determining tool. There does not appear to be any definitive, comprehensive pattern to predict the selection of offenders for polygraph examination, to exam results, or to the changes made to offenders’ case plans postpolygraph This suggests that there is no alternative way to produce the tangible supervision and treatment effects of the polygraph policy The polygraph policy appears to increase the ability of parole officers to detect parolees’ failure to comply with conditions of supervision before they can escalate to behaviors warranting new arrest 80% of treatment providers report that one individual in the treatment group being polygraphed has an effect on the rest of the group o Polygraphing one offender in a treatment group produces a “vicarious” effect; individuals who have not been referred for or polygraphed have reactions to group members’ experiences o The policy appears to encourage honesty with parole officers and treatment providers o The domino effect is the most common; if one offender comes back from exam and says he came up deceptive, others will begin admitting their behavior
Polygraph testing is becoming increasingly important in sex offender treatment. Polygraph advocates cite dramatic increases in historical disclosures that presumably allow more precise targeting of treatment interventions, earlier detection of risky behaviors that often lead to new offenses, and improved treatment and supervision compliance. Based on this, they believe the procedure supports desirable behavior that continues to various degrees after treatment and supervision end. Opponents cite ethical problems related to inaccurate results, unproven accuracy rates, and risk that examinees may be coerced into making false admissions. To counter these criticisms, proponents have developed standards, best practices, examiner training and certification programs intended to reduce error rates and address ethical issues. Opponents argue that these measures have not been tested and that empirically established error rates and best practices may not be possible for a variety of reasons. This article reviews the current situation, leaving readers to decide the wisdom and ethics of using polygraph in their own practices.
Authors argue that after more than 50 years of consistent use polygraphy remains unvalidated as a scientific technique. While it may have "magical" value for eliciting confessions, actual test results should not be relied on. Given its seductive promise but unproven science, the procedure is prone to mis use and outright abuse. This appears to be particularly so when it comes to the investigation of sex crimes and the treatment and monitoring of convicted sexual criminals.
Reviews two decades of data Jan Hindman collected in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. COncludes that without polygraphy examinations offenders disclose significantly fewer victims that when they know they will be tested. Also, many offenders report having been victims of sexual abuse when they were children, but these reports are only about half as frequent when offenders know their reported sexual histories are subject to verification via polygraph.
Post-conviction polygraph testing of adult sex offenders in treatment has been a somewhat controversial subject. This study (n = 95 participants who took 333 polygraph tests) explored how sexual offenders enrolled in outpatient treatment programs perceived their polygraph experiences. Participants reported a relatively low incidence of false indications of both deception (22 of 333 tests) and truthfulness (11 of 333) tests, suggesting that clients agreed with examiners’ opinions 90% of the time. The majority of clients reported that polygraph testing was a helpful part of treatment. Finally, about 5% of participants reported that they responded to allegedly inaccurate accusations of deception by admitting to things they had not done. The data offer encouragement for continued but cautious use of polygraphy by sex offender treatment programs. Implications for practice and research are identified.
A 2004 publication of the New Mexico Sex Offender Management Board descripting of how Post-conviction Sex Offender (polygraph) Testing (PCSOT) was being used in various United States jurisdictions and the results it was believed were being achieved.
A literature review evaluating research findings about the using polygraphy to manage and treat convicted sexual offenders. Inconsistent empirical data from various studies provide a challenge to the validity and reliability of the poolygraph procedure. Nonetheless, treatment appears to be enhanced by the disclosures made during the preparation process that takes place before eachl examination. Empirically based standards for the use and interpretation of polygraph results were found to be lacking. Guidelines for the responsible use of polygraphy in community-based treatment of sexual offenders are proposed. Finally, issues needing further research are identified.
This paper describes the need to incorporate information learned from the postconviction polygraph examination into intense treatment and criminal justice supervision. The authors describe a study of data collected on disclosures made by 130 convicted sexual offenders (mostly child molesters) and presents the following crossover data: 39% had a history of sexually assaulting adults, 31% had sexually assaulted both male and female victims, 36% had engaged in bestiality and 2/3 of the incest offenders also offended outside their families.
Sex Offender Treatment Programs programs frequently require participants to divulge information about their sexual history and to admit to sexual offenses for which they may or may not have been convicted. This article considers how this aspect of conditional release may implicate the Fifth Amendment by violating the privilege against self-incrimination, as illustrated by the Ninth Circuit’s decision in United States v. Antelope. It also considers various alternatives available for achieving greater balance between the competing interests of protecting the Fifth Amendment right and promoting meaningful treatment programs. Ultimately the author concludes, the legislature is best suited to resolve the issue.
Empirical research by Kim English and several co-authors reporting that polygraphy generates dramatic increases in sex offender admissions of numbers and types of victims prior to conviction and sexually risky behaviors while under supervision. Describes polygraphy as one side of a triangular sex offender containmnet strategy, supervision and treatment being the other two sides. Ethical and legal issues are also discussed. Reader caution: some of the legal arguments set forth in this article have since been rejected in some Federal Courts. See particularly, Anetelope v USA, 9th district, DC No. CR-00-00039-DWM
This empirical study examined whether polygraph testing would result in sex offenders engaging in fewer high-risk behaviors. It was concluded that polygraph testing resulted in offenders engaging in less high risk behavior, although the possibility that offenders fabricated reports of high-risk behaviours to satisfy examiners is also considered; similarly, offenders seemed to be more honest with their supervisors, but this only occurred after experience of the test itself. Feedback from offenders who completed the study, taken together with the high drop out rate, suggested that those motivated not to reoffend found polygraphy useful, while those less motivated sought to avoid it.
This article examines the impact of full sex history polygraph testing for sex offenders in light of the United States v. Antelope (2005) ruling. It provides a review of the facts of the Antelope case, along with a general overview of the U.S. legal system. Discussion includes the appellate process, case law, and precedent and how court decisions impact lower courts in the same geographic region and beyond. The specific decision making process of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Antelope is examined as it relates to McKune v. Lile (2002). There are new laws that impact treatment and child abuse reporting that serve to complicate matters. Recommendations include legislative changes and immunity contracts within the context of their limitations.