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Compulsory polygraph tests for sex offenders who have completed their sentences

Date: (20 July 2012)    |    

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Those prisoners who have been sent in for sexual offences will have to undergo mandatory lie detector tests on release from jails to prevent any re-offending. Sex offenders who pose high risk of committing further abuse will be recalled to prison or face a change of their parole conditions.
The prime minister’s office wants such compulsory tests for all high risk sex pests after a successful trial was done in the Midlands.
Probation officers conducted the polygraph tests on the offenders by questioning them on their future movements and intentions.
It was found that the lie detector test made the offenders more honest with their probation officers. They made twice as many disclosures compared to those who were questioned without the polygraphs.
Their revelations included admitting to contacting a victim or entering an exclusion zone. Some confessed to fantasies, suggesting they would offend again. Offenders also reported that the tests helped them to manage their own behaviour better.
The sex offenders on their release are put to severe strictures like signing the sex offenders register, restrictions on where they live and being barred entry into certain areas or trying to come into contact with potential vicgtims. The lie detector tests would be on top of these rigorous conditions.
A No10 source said that it was important that public was protected from such serious sex offenders. And to achieve that the conditions after their release has to be both strict and rigorously enforced the source said.
As the pilot schemes using lie detectors to manage offenders in the community have been a success the government was looking at implementing it to provide probation officers with more information to manage the most serious sex offenders.
The tests were carried out between April 2009 and October 2011 in the East and West Midlands probation regions.
At any given time there are around 3,000 sex offenders on licence in the community with more than 750 considered to be the most serious cases.
The compulsory use of lie detectors was challenged under human rights legislation but judges backed the use of polygraphs, saying that they were ‘proportionate’.
Legislation to test polygraphs on sex offenders was introduced by Labour. The Coalition is now planning secondary legislation to use it on the most serious sex offenders in England and Wales.
The risk of paedophiles reoffending or disappearing from police radar, after their release from jail being a real one polygraph could give a picture of what could come. Previous year 57 registered sex offenders were charged for re-offending.

 

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