Trials prove potential of polygraph tests
A three-year study of mandatory assessment, which ended in 2012, demonstrated conclusively that polygraph testing helped case managers evaluate the risk posed by offenders, enabling them to decide how best to protect the public from harm.
Legislation requiring high-risk sex offenders on parole in England and Wales to undergo mandatory polygraph assessment was passed by Parliament in the summer of 2013.
Tightening up controls on offenders
The testing was described by the Government as the latest in a series of plans to tighten up controls on sex offenders, which will also see their movement tracked by satellite tags (when the technology is available).
Work led by Professor Grubin also enables libido suppressant drugs to be prescribed to further reduce the risk posed by this group of offenders.
Professor Grubin has led rigorous training to enable probation and police officers to become polygraph examiners, putting some of the most serious sex offenders in the community under stringent test.
Gordon Davison, Head of Offender Management and Public Protection Unit, National Offender Management Service, said: "The value of polygraph testing for sexual offenders on licence has long been championed by Professor Don Grubin and research has validated its positive impact. Its use has been welcomed by probation officers and managers as another tool to assist in the safer management of high risk offenders who have been released into the community."
Police from two forces and staff from the new National Probation Service now run regular lie-detector tests on offenders and take the results into account when deciding whether or not to recall the offender to custody.
Professor Grubin 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.”
- Sky News reports that the introduction of polygraph tests plays a part in ensuring Britain has one of the toughest regimes in the world for managing sex offenders
- A reporter from The Mirror tries out the polygraph test for herself as she learns how this will become the latest tool in the fight against sex crimes
- The Guardian reports on changes to legislation to make compulsory lie detector tests to monitor released sex offenders
- Professor Grubin has an international reputation in relation to the assessment, treatment and management of sexual offenders. Find out more about his research interests, publications and roles and responsibilities