Released sex offenders to take lie detector tests
20 July 2012
Sex offenders released on licence will be forced to undergo polygraph testing, after a successful trial in areas of the Midlands.
Use of the lie detection technology, which is generally shunned by the police and courts due to suspicions regarding its reliability, was trialed in the Midlands from April 2009 to November 2011. Sex offenders released on licence were found to be more open and honest in interviews with probation staff when they were being monitored by one of the polygraph devices, with twice as many admissions of guilt made regarding violations of their probation.
Offenders also said that the prospect of polygraph testing made them manage their own behaviour more effectively.
David Cameron has now requested an assessment of the costs involved with rolling the scheme out across the UK, according to a source at No. 10 Downing Street. Said the source; “The pilot schemes using lie detectors to manage offenders in the community have been a success. So now we're looking at how it could be rolled out to provide probation officers with more information to manage the most serious sex offenders.”
The new plans are likely to be welcomed by many, after it was revealed yesterday that prisons are failing to take adequate steps to rehabilitate prisoners before releasing them.
The revelation came in a report conducted by police and prison inspectors, which examined 11 prisons in England and Wales. The report found that no plans were made for 1 in 3 sex offenders who needed treatment programmes prior to release. It is suspected that prison staff are being intimidated or groomed by gangs and dangerous prisoners.
Chief Inspector for Prisons Nick Hardwick described the report as a “very disturbing read”.