The New Jersey Star-Ledger is reporting that the state parole board has released an internal study claiming that the use of polygraphs on paroled sex offenders has been effective in detecting and preventing parole violations. According to the article, almost all of the state’s 5,600 supervised sex offenders must submit to at least one polygraph test every year. You may read the actual report here. From the article:
The parole board started using the examinations two years ago, and an internal study being released today says they’ve been effective in detecting and preventing parole violations even though budget restrictions have prevented the tests from being widely implemented.
Out of 236 paroled sex offenders who took polygraph tests, 86 had their supervision plans changed afterward. That includes 34 offenders who received more stringent supervision, such as out-of-state traveling restrictions or electronic monitoring.
Only 400 tests have been conducted so far, parole board spokesman Neal Buccino said. The state has five polygraph machines, and 11 officers have completed nine weeks of training in Philadelphia. The training and equipment was funded by a $50,000 federal grant and $16,667 in state money.
During polygraph tests, the sex offender sits alone in a room with the officer. Sensors on the chair and straps across the chest and stomach detect fidgeting, and fingertip sensors monitor sweat. A band around the subject’s upper arm tracks blood pressure.