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Polygraphs don’t work. So why do we still use them?

The FBI gives a polygraph test to every single person who’s considered for a job there. When the DEA, CIA, and other agencies are taken into account, about 70,000 people a year submit to polygraphs while seeking security clearances and jobs with the federal government.

Polygraphs are also regularly used by law enforcement when interrogating suspects. In some places, they’re used to monitor the activities of sex offenders on probation, and some judges have recently permitted plea bargains that hinge on the results of defendants’ polygraph tests. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Robert Curtis

    While on probation I found an interesting book written by a Psychologist from Canada on the real intent of the Polygraph. I have never been able to pass the polygraph and that’s not because I was lying. After reading this book I understand why…the polygraph is a form of interrogation not science. The book was titled “A Tremor in the Blood” By David Lykken. Amazon has the book available. Check your local library system as well.

  2. Q

    I think polygraphs are still being used because people just don’t want to believe the truth and have difficulty admitting that something they believed in was wrong. Even though the numbers simply don’t add up many people still refuse to concede to the facts. It’s similar to GPS monitoring, which has proven time and time again to have little to no impact on crime prevention if the person wearing the device decides to commit a crime; yet GPS monitoring is still widely used by the courts and other state agencies. Polygraph tests have been proven to be junk science and I think GPS monitoring can be viewed in the same class as polygraph tests; ineffective at best. Polygraph tests have proven to be about as effective as using an umbrella as a parachute.

  3. Nicholas Maietta

    Years ago, i was in a treatment program that was ridiculously stupid all the way around. I still feel the people at Narum should go to jail for what they did to me.

    As part of their program, i would undergo at my expense, a polygraph test regularly. Anyone who didn’t pass, was automatically kicked out of the program.

    Truth be known, that i broke many rules of my program and even my probation. I had to. I couldn’t survive unless i did. So when questions about my following the rules of the program were questioned, i lied, and still passed. “With flying colors”. “No deception indicated.”.

    Really sad to know that program still exists and it does absolutely nothing for anyone except that it does harm them. The use of the polygraph to determine who wasn’t following the rules or even breaking laws, was a complete joke.

    I watched most people that were in the treatment program get kicked out of the program, only to end up having probation terminated and then sent off to prison. Of course, i can say it now, but then and even while on parole, i was afraid to speak up about my experiences in treatment and my experiences with the polygraph. Out of probably 20 or so times i’ve taken the test, i’ve passed with “no deception indicated” when nearly every time, i was telling lies or even just half-truths.

  4. mike

    I’ll never understand how they get away with this mandatory polygraph testing or interrogations. It seems like it undermines freedom of speech as well as protection from self incrimination. Next they’ll legalize Water boarding for registrants in the name of public safety.

  5. ab

    The containment model.

  6. Tim

    The containment model or intimidate, intimidate, intimidate. It happens after you leave therapy and are supposedly done with your sentence. It continues with compliance checks and the annual humiliation on your birthday. If the truth comes out that most of us who have actually offended have made a rational choice to not go there again, and it had little to do with a police state hanging over your shoulder, then the sweet gig is up along with the only secure jobs people have anymore, that is, sex offender monitors and correction officers.

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