California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Phasing Out CVSA

AntiPolygraph.org has confirmed with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that its Office of Peace Officer Selection, which in 2016 began using Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) to screen applicants, terminated this practice in May of 2023.

CVSA is a thoroughly discredited, pseudoscientific lie detector that since 1988 has been marketed by the so-named National Institute for Truth Verification (NITV). The West Palm Beach, Florida company was founded by Charles Wayne Humble, a former Indiana police officer with no scientific training who fraudulently passes himself off as a Ph.D.

A banner on the NITV website that is still running at the time of this writing suggests that the CDCR was NITV’s best customer, having purchased 58 CVSA devices since 2017:

NITV Federal Services website masthead on 13 May 2024

In a 2006 ABC Primetime report on CVSA, Charles Humble boasted “One thousand five hundred police departments throughout the country have paid ten thousand dollars per system….” This would suggest that California taxpayers have wasted something on the order of $580,000 for a device that, by its manufacturer’s admission, “is not capable of lie detection.”

CDCR should never have adopted CVSA for any purpose, as ample evidence that voice stress analysis does not work (and of Humble’s fraudulent claims about it) was publicly available long before CDCR began using CVSA.

Happily, it appears that in addition to scrapping use of the CVSA for applicant screening, CDCR is also in the process of scrapping it for all purposes. In response to an inquiry from AntiPolygraph.org, CDCR information officer Mary Xjimenez confirmed:

CDCR has used CVSA technologies/tools on a limited basis as part of its pre-employment peace officer selection process, staff misconduct investigation process, incarcerated population threat assessments process, and institutional investigations regarding planned, attempted or actual escapes and information received of a potential security breach. CDCR is moving forward with regulations to end the use of CVSA across offices and institutions.

Comments 2

  • The CDCR should have known that the CVSA was bogus long before 2016, or about 10 years after the Crowe case fiasco which cost the California tax payers north of $7,000,000. However, I am thankful that the CVSA clown show is losing a significant customer and I hope the word spreads among the various criminal justice administrators though out the United States that a pseudo-science device pitched by a fake Ph.D has no place in the criminal justice system.
    I am wondering what the fallout for the CDCR will be; will individuals sue CDCR that were either denied employment or fired based on coin toss at best CVSA exam?
    I know “Doc” Humble reads this website otherwise he not have threatened to sue AP. Well, I am waiting for NITV’s side of the story.

  • It appears that NITV is not going to reply to losing their largest customer, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. After the huge judgement to Gary Baker of about $250,000, and now the loss of NITV’s largest customer, one can easily see how the dominos are falling down for NITV.
    I would hazard to guess that NITV is blaming the political influence of the polygraph lobby for the loss of CDCR and the polygraph lobby may have greased a few palms, but the main reason NITV loss the contract is that their devices simply do not work at better than chance level. A fake doctorate degree and a make-believe journal article does not change this fact.

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