Australia: “Lie Test Plan to Stop Rape”

Tanya Giles reports in this article published by the Melbourne, Australia Herald Sun. Excerpt:

SEX offenders would be forced to take regular lie detector tests after their release from prison under a plan to stop them re-offending.

Police also would be given the power to use any information obtained from the hi-tech tests to launch new investigations and help victims.

The proposal, prepared by an FBI-trained forensic polygraph expert, is based on a program used in 36 US states and is being considered in Britain.

The [Victoria, Australia] State Government said it would consider any proposal by law enforcement agencies.

The Opposition promised to introduce the tests if elected.

Victims-of-crime support groups also backed the plan.

The expert behind the plan believes random lie detector tests would help stop pedophiles and rapists.

Steven Van Aperen, who regularly helps police on high-profile homicide cases, said polygraph testing had been shown to control the behaviour of sex offenders back in the community.

“The reality is, parole or probation officers cannot supervise sex offenders 24 hours a day,” he said.

“The advantage of polygraph surveillance is that it can regulate and control the behaviour of sex offenders. It acts as an artificial conscience.”

Under the US programs, sex offenders volunteer to sit lie detector tests every three to 12 months. The tests, which they pay for, are a condition of their parole.

If the parolee fails a test, they face further investigation, increased parole supervision and other sanctions.

Because polygraph “tests” are easily beaten through the use of simple countermeasures that polygraphers cannot detect, reliance on any such screening program has the potential to shield and enable recidivists who understand “the lie behind the lie detector.”

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