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Sex Offender, the Polygraph, and Community Corrections (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 67-1 - 67-11, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
Pryor Green, B.S.; Billy Franklin, B.S.; Randi Sue Lanzafama, B.S., M.Ed.
Date Published
11 pages
This chapter reviews the history of and rationale for sex offender polygraph testing, followed by a discussion of polygraph procedures that achieve effective results in the community-based management of sex offenders.
Illinois Judge Clarence E. Partee introduced polygraph testing of sex offenders in 1966. He required that sex offenders given probation take an annual polygraph examination as a probation condition. Given the measured significant decline in sex offender recidivism in programs that have used polygraph testing, other States have instituted polygraph testing for sex offenders. In community corrections, a risk assessment is necessary for the effective community supervision of sex offenders. The polygraph examination is an indispensable part of this assessment. In the Newport News Sex Offender Program, for example, information revealed by the polygraph determines the intensity of supervision and treatment based on the nature and frequency of past sexual offending revealed by polygraph testing. Before an offender is given a polygraph exam, the team has already given him every opportunity to disclose all the relevant matters pertinent to treatment. If the polygraph subsequently exposes deception, the examiner confronts the offender, which may prompt further disclosures from the offender. The examiner notifies the probation/parole officer and the therapist in a written report, which includes the relevant questions. The polygraph should be used as an investigative, risk assessment, and treatment tool, not as a final arbitrator of guilt or innocence. Separate sections of this chapter discuss the determination of questions that will be asked the offender, the scope of background information on the offender given the polygrapher before the exam, and procedures for finding a qualified polygraph examiner. 2 figures and 4 references