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Value of the Post-Conviction Polygraph: The Importance of Sanctions

NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: 2000 Pages: 6-19
Date Published
14 pages

This article discusses the value of the post-conviction polygraph in managing and treating convicted sex offenders.


An accurate polygraph examination and an effective supervision strategy are contingent upon whether sanctions are imposed on the offender when new information is revealed, or when the offender scores deceptive on the examination. Close collaboration and information sharing between the probation or parole officer, treatment provider and polygraph examiner is vital to ensure that sanctions are invoked. Waivers of confidentiality must be obtained to promote the necessary sharing of information. Consequences should be consistent, immediate, and flexible. Written policies and procedures for post-conviction polygraph examinations and sanctions are key to ensuring consistency. The type of action taken relates to the severity of the violation. The article reviews data concerning the types and frequency of sanctions imposed on sex offenders as the result of new information learned about offenses that occurred before and after the sex crime, for violations of supervision conditions and for deceptive exams with no information admitted. The article recommends research specifically evaluating the link between the implementation of sanctions and recidivism. Notes, figure, tables, references

Date Published: January 1, 2000