POLYGRAPH’S NEW ROLE: TO TREAT SEX OFFENDERS
According to Newsday, to a polygraph operator, quick heartbeat, sweat glands kicking in, increased blood pressure and adrenalin flowing are indicators that someone is being deceptive. If that someone is a convicted sex offender, analyzing these signals can be a way of helping to teat and monitor the offender. Requiring convicted sex offenders to take regular polygraphs, as a condition of probation or parole is part of the Containment Approach program. It has been used successfully, mostly out west, for 20 years, but former Suffolk Police Officer Robert Mylott has recently helped bring it to Long Island. The idea is to force sex offenders, through the polygraph, to confront and eventually control their behavior. Experts say most sex offenders won't acknowledge their illness, even after pleading guilty, so court ordered therapy has little effect. Under the program, offenders, who pay for the polygraphs themselves at about $500 for each session, are asked about the offense they committed, as well as their sexual history and their adherence to the court imposed conditions of parole or probation. The testing can take hours and deception can be reported back to the judge, who decides whether sanctions, such as returning to jail or home detention, should be imposed. If they maintain their innocence and pass the test, they must stay on probation but aren't forced to undergo therapy.