Key Links



Death Penalty


Justice System





Practitioner Links

Domestic Violence

Mental Disorder

Restorative Justice

Sex Offenders

Substance Misuse



News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

September 19, 2008: Mandatory Polygraph Tests for Sex Offenders 

The National Offender Management Service is proposing to operate a three-year pilot of mandatory polygraph tests to determine if the polygraph can help in the management of sex offenders.

A polygraph, commonly known as a 'lie-detector' is a device that measures changes in breathing, heart activity and sweating, all of which are believed to be related to deception. The polygraph will be used to monitor whether offenders are engaging in risky behaviour, or behaviour that puts them in breach of their licence conditions.

For each offender subject to polygraphy requirements risky behaviours would be identified that might indicate they were about to return to offending. A polygraph test would then be applied at regular intervals, to test the offender’s responses to questions about those behaviours.

Evidence from the polygraph would be used to help assess if an offender presents a risk to the public. If an offender failed a polygraph test this on its own would not be used as the basis of proceedings such as breach of licence or recall to prison. However such evidence might prompt further investigations which in turn might provide evidence of breach of the offender’s licence conditions.

he Offender Management Act 2007 enables mandatory polygraph testing for certain sex offenders. This consultation concerns the content of the rules that will regulate mandatory polygraph tests with sex offenders in the UK.

The pilot will take place in a limited area, and will be evaluated as to its effectiveness. Following the pilot a parliamentary decision will be taken as to the future of polygraph testing for sex offenders on a national basis, informed by the outcome of the pilot.

Sections 28-30 of the Offender Management Act enable the Home Secretary to insert a Polygraph Condition in the licence of certain individuals as specified in the Act, who are being released from prison having served a sentence for a sexual offence. A Polygraph Condition requires the released person to undertake polygraph tests as specified in the Act, in order to contribute to the safer management of that person in the community.

he Home Office funded a voluntary pilot of polygraph testing with sex offenders between 2003 and 2006. The voluntary pilot was an exploratory trial to ascertain whether polygraph testing could assist probation officers in their treatment and supervision of offenders.