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California

California making sex offenders take lie-detector tests

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the first time, California will make paroled sex offenders take periodic lie detector tests as a way to gauge their behavior patterns and perhaps prevent new sex crimes.

The move came in response to several high-profile cases involving parolees who raped and killed. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Eric Knight

    Of course, the cost of these lie detector tests will have to be borne by the registrant, if I’m not mistaken. I’m surprised that the CA Sex Offender Management Board is going along with this nonsense. I’m sure that there was some heated discussion with this one.

    Highlighted BS statement:

    “It’s a tool that perhaps sets the stage for the first time in an offender’s life where he’s literally practicing being honest,” added Eckenrod.

    Really. This is adorable. That bit of insanity should stand by itself.

    One final note:

    “Harriet Salarno, founder and chairwoman of Crime Victims United of California, welcomed the department’s latest effort because she said GPS tracking was oversold as a way of preventing new crimes. But she predicted sex offenders will find a way to fool the lie detectors.”

    Really, Harriet? Did you REALLY say that? So if the lie detector is not successful, it MUST be the registrant who is messing with the system!!!

    Seriously, there is some bulls*** being bandied about in the water here in the state.

    • FRegistryTerrorists

      Accurate statements but I would replace “registrant” with “parolee”.

      I do find it hilarious that the government employees are falling all over themselves to try to sell the idea to the uninformed public. Those government employees are obnoxious, petty, little people (as most government employees in law enforcement are).

      The thing I don’t get about these polygraph tests, GPS monitoring, treatment, etc., etc., is why everyone seems to think those things are good for “sex offenders” and not good for anyone else. They make just as much sense for people who shoot other people with guns. THAT is what really makes this stuff BS.

      I did notice that comments on the article appear to be disabled. No sense in allowing government propaganda to be disputed.

      • Nicholas Maietta

        You bring up a great point.

        This really could be a ploy to get this universally accepted by targeting the “sex offenders”. How come i didn’t immediately think of that. That’s always how it all seems to work.

      • Eric Knight

        Technically, the correct term is “parolee sex offender”…with the emphasis that ONLY sex offenders (registrants) get the heehaw tickler treatment.

        Note that murderers, assaulters, and other parolees don’t get the same treatment, even though it is far more likely they will go on to harm another person than a registrant. So my use of using the term “registrant” is “less incorrect” than using “parolee” by; themselves.

        I am curious as to how CA RSOL is going to respond to this. I don’t mean through expensive litigation (Janice/Chance and company can only do so much with so little $$$), but I mean in general as far as positioning.

    • Timmr

      Don’t you know sex offenders have some supernatural intelligence that can defeat these gee whiz advanced technologies they keep coming up with to prevent crime. Well, since polygraphs are inarguably based on superstition, in makes sense on some bizarro extra normal demension, that sex offender parolees possess these hidden powers. Just wish I could access that power to make myself super rich, then I could buy my way out of this charade.

      • CA cool RC

        I thought I read some where that Sex offender usually have higher than average IQ ?

        and it the 1st time that sex offender is honest? Cough

  2. Robert Curtis

    The lie detector is not science it’s only a form of interrogation. I took the test and fail every time while on probation. Odd, thing is I was really telling the truth! The real test is in their observation of your responses to being falsely accused of lying. It’s a tool to help get you out of denial…for that purpose I guess it’s alright, but don’t put a lot of stock in that test. I would suggest buying the book “Tremor in the Blood” by David T. Lykken. On Amazon. The Polygraph is only a tool of interrogation not real evidence.

    • FRegistryTerrorists

      It was not “odd” at all that you “failed” your polygraph tests. Polygraphs don’t work. Everyone informed person knows its.

      A person who takes a polygraph needs to understand upfront that the polygraph is not reliable at all and just not worry about it. Take the polygraph and if the tester or anyone else says that you are lying, tell them that you are not and that they should CERTAINLY know that polygraphs are BS, junk “science”. Then thank them for wasting your time and money and nanny big government’s taxpayer-provided time and money.

      But I do think the polygraphs are fine if they get people to admit things that they would not otherwise admit. And it might do that for a small percentage of people. But it won’t do that for anyone with much sense. I do wonder if that small benefit is worth any retaliation that is caused by forcing the polygraphs on people. I haven’t thought much if there is much retaliation for it. The people who are forced to do it are on parole so they should be remorseful and feel accepting of most conditions of parole (as long as they are fair). But I could see how many people could be legitimately aggravated that they are forced to do it when gun offenders, career criminals, etc. are not.

    • steve

      I took one too before sentencing and failed it too while I was telling the truth as well. Total garbage.

      • td777

        If polygraphs were reliable, they would be admissible in court as evidence. Since they have proven to be unreliable, they are not admissible.

        It seems to me that either one of two things is behind this: 1)someone somewhere has decided polygraphs ARE reliable if the one taking it is a sex offender or 2) they know they are unreliable and know that by exploiting that they are unreliable as yet another means to persecute sex offenders.

  3. jim

    I believe it’s time to ask the general public if they won’t mind spending another 10million dollars on something that didn’t work in the first place, because we as politians have filled the heads of the society with so much B/S of the people we know nothing about and labeled them all as a major threat to your society. While we sit back and watch what we told you we will put an end too, and wonder where did we go wrong while fattening our pockets with your tax dollars.

  4. Double A

    Another step in the wrong direction. This will be the perfect tool for parole officers to violate their parolees. Perfect tactic to keep registrants behind bars.

    I had 12 months of probation instead of 3 years of parole because of AB 109. In those 12 months I had 4 probation officers. I was told I may have to take a polygraph test during my term. I’m glad I didn’t have to take it. Not because I would’ve failed the test but because I would have had to pay for the test. The polygraph test was close to $300.

    • Lee

      Sidebar if I may; I have an (m) for CP w/3 years formal. Are you indicating that I will most likely NOT have to take one of these tests – as well as interested in the process to petition for early term…

      Please advise – thank you!

  5. Ron

    Wonderful, more junk science. When does it ever end? I don’t see how any Registered Citizen could pass with the high levels of anxiety most of us have.

  6. USA

    Guys, this is actually a wonderful article! California is bankrupt and broke. Lie detector tests can’t be used in a court of law! So, just imagine how (parole agents/don’t you recall the article posted done time back) overburdened parole agents currently are? First, just imagine how will this happen? Most of the paroles are unemployed and living in hotels paid by your truly. So, the agent will probably have to pick the person up, drive them to? Do the test/how long does this take and take them back? It’s a nightmare. The parole agents are probably scratching his of her head as we speak. This is another example of why California needs to get with the program and pass the tiered system so the State can focus on those recently released ect, as opposed to this 80 something year old convicted 50 years ago or the guy convicted if a expunged misdemeanor 19 years ago with summary probation. Go spend one day in a local superior court/here the numerous cases taking place daily and you will just shake your head and wonder why this continues

  7. A

    Well, that was an interesting read. I was ordered to take the polygraph back in November.
    The test was administered by a higher ranking CHP officer. The “interview” process took about 3 and a half hours, as there is a packet that needs to be filled out of some very personal questions.
    Of course most of those questions are pretty ridiculous to the average citizen, IE: “How often do you have sex with a cadaver” being one of them. (I did have some nightmares that night.
    The new “Containment Model” is still being introduced in phases here in the Antelope Valley.
    I wasn’t invoiced anything for the polygraph. I just showed up to the facility where the weekly therapy meetings are held and sat in the interview chair for about 4 hours.
    (The actual 10 questions being asked were tailored to my specific crimes).
    I told the truth and I believe they said that I passed.
    There are more types of polygraph tests coming soon. That last one dealt with History.
    Hope this helps as far as information goes.

  8. Nicholas Maietta

    It is my understanding that paroles don’t go through the regular court system for parole violations and they are handled through something called the Board of Parole. This was voted by the voters in California because at the time, the court system had way too many “revolving door” paroles that were tying up the court systems.

    So with that as my understanding, i want to bring up this point:

    If a person cannot have a polygraph entered into the court of law as a tool of evidence, then how can a court of law “replacement” be able to due that?

    Additionally, if the burdon of cost is placed onto the parolee, then even if the parolee can successfully pass the poly, they are likely getting violated for failure to comply with the terms of their parole (in which they do not get to pick and choose which terms they agree to).

    I smell a massive lawsuit brewing. I am also very glad i am no longer on parole.

  9. mike

    You would think with all the mass shootings and terriost threats and activity that the goverment would realise that they need to focuse their Limited resources on the real threats and stop wasting tax payers money and resources on people that are little to no threat to the public. It’s sad that terrorists armed robbers murderers and other violent people aren’t subject to any of the bs rso are subjected to.

    • Nicholas Maietta

      I seem to remember something about how we the people have the power to replace our government if it is required or becomes necessary. If our current system is not fixable, then it needs to be replaced with one that does. (Even replacement is a debatable subject)

      Wasting tax payer funding is just a symptom of a much larger problem.

      The only solution i see that may put a band-aid on the hemorrhage is to at least remove and/or replace those who are like a cancer.

  10. mike

    Let me clarify. I meant its sad that the gov thinks rso should be subjected to all the bs but it doesn’t feel that terrorists armed robbers murderers or other violent people should be subjected to all the bs. I myself don’t think anyone should be subjected to any of this crap. Once you do your time for a crime that should be the end of it let the person move on with their life.

  11. Someone who cares

    What am I missing here? Why does it say, for the first time California is making Parolees take lie detector tests? I thought this was introduced in 2006? Anyways, these machines are of course complete “Vodoo”. We are not that advanced yet to read other people’s minds, or can tell if they are lying. Anyone half way intelligent knows this. The only purpose is to get a confession out of someone. Like a mother telling her kid that she can watch him while she is at work. When told that she saw that he ate the ice cream (of course she did not actually see it), he might confess, thinking she can really tell. So, don’t fall for the “I know you are lying”. They don’t know anything but hope for you to admit something. It is a coin toss, and when you are nervous (who wouldn’t be), the machine will have a “deceptive” reading, which they “interpret” as a lie. Stick to your “I don’t know why it spiked” and “I am telling the truth”. They will still tell you that you failed and might impose stricter probation restrictions. It is just about money and intimidation. Nothing more, nothing less. My guy failed a question that was not even a stipulation of his, but the polygrapher thought it was, I guess, and failed him. Yet, the main question whether he has violated any of his probation terms, he passed? How is that possible. He was also told, he can re-take the test. Why? Because it could have been wrong? I thought the machine was working? Which one is it? Exactly! There should not be a 2nd chance if the machine is right, correct? Frustrating, but part of the “game”, I guess.

  12. Kevin

    Here’s my experience with polygraphs while on probation and how they relate to revocation…It is true that a polygraph is not admissible in a court of law and thus can never be used for revocation. However, a failed polygraph can result in your PO throwing you in jail for a period of time (they can do that without a revocation). Thus, they can use that as leverage to get you to be honest with them (or to get you to tell them what they want to hear). Now if you admit to anything before, during, or after the polygraph that CAN be used against you in a revocation hearing. That right there is the reason they want to use polygraph tests. They want you to admit to something (either by honesty or coercion) so they can revocate you.
    I’ve read many of you that don’t take these polygraphs seriously, but think about it. You’ve just spend X amount of time in prison, this is your first time on parole, your first taste of any amount of freedom since you got locked up, and you’ll do anything not to go back. Your PO is telling you that if you don’t pass the test you’re going back behind bars (not entirely true). Even if you get locked up for a couple of days, you’ll likely lose your job, your residence, and everything you’ve worked so hard to build since getting out.

  13. Stanley K.

    This is not surprising to me at all. When I was on probation in Orange County in 2000 the probation department made it mandatory for sex offender registrants to comply with random polygraph examinations or face incarceration. I recall the interview by the polygrapher as being rather explicit and personal. For example, I was asked about my sexual fantasies, masturbation habits, and whether or not I had contact with the victim, an underage girlfriend who was 3 and a half years my junior. Some of the questions really embarrassed me and I’m not the one to be shy, but questions from a woman in her early 60s regarding my sexual habits was a little too much to take in; almost as if I was being interrogated by my grandmother or something. I told the truth about everything except the one question about whether or not I drank alcohol or engaged in illicit drug activity; I think I smoked a joint the previous week with a friend. Not ten minutes after the test my probation officer came in and had me urinate in a receptacle. I believe the polygraph, in the instance of monitoring registrants, is designed to throw the registrant back in custody, because as soon as the test came back positive for marijuana I was back in custody for a four month probation violation. So back to Theo Lacy I went, and it was one less case load for an overworked probation officer.

  14. Timmr

    I had polygraph tests during probation, and the only thing they did was make me poorer (I paid $300 every 6 months for five years, while my family had to live on credit cards and put up with annoying collection calls) and turned my hair grey way too early. When I left therapy, I did a reoffense prevention plan. Not on that list were polygraphs or people checking to see where I live. Polygraphs may be part of the hocus pokus that may help stubborn people to see their mistakes, if they are of that mind already, and trust the shaman’s magic, but they won’t make an offender take responsibility for his acts. Indeed, this paraphernalia may be counter productive in teaching people what I think really prevents re-offense, learning empathy and respect. I always felt like a lab animal in front of the polygraph machine, and attribute my clean record to seeing the pain I caused others, not in fearing the whip.

  15. SkeletonLander

    I am surprised how all these changes are bandied about after these tragedies in order to better monitor sex offenders, when in fact the criminals that did these horrible things are in fact MURDERERS. And MURDERERS in California have many more rights than plain old Sex Offenders.

    Heaven forbid we try and monitor MURDERERS and make them register.

    In fact, every Sex Offender bill was authored on behalf of a MURDER victim. Sex Offenders are rarely MURDERERS. Now that is being lumped together with truly horrible people.

  16. someone who cares

    Kevin. I think people do take ploys seriously, but not because they are working (they are not), but because a “failed” poly can make probation harder. The problem is that anyone can “fail” a poly, whether they tell the truth or not, and THAT is the frustrating part. The fact that everybody is just at the Vodoo machine’s mercy. It is humbug science and only needs to be taken seriously due the fact that it holds your life in its hands. Pretty bad.

  17. SanBernardino Parolee

    In San Bernardino we have to take these as a condition of parole. They can only be used to violate you if 1) you refuse to take the test or 2) admit to breaking a condition of parole (or the law) in the process of taking the test. Failing the test is not cause for revocation, but can increase scrutiny.
    For the most part, the Agents just ignore them as most people fail and they’re already too busy.
    However, in my case, passing the polygraph actually helped ease some of my conditions.

    • Eric Knight

      “However, in my case, passing the polygraph actually helped ease some of my conditions.”

      Please be more specific as to what conditions were “eased,” and also your reasoning to associate the easements with the results of the poly. I don’t doubt that the purpose of the poly is to scare the bejesus out of registrants, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it elicited FALSE confessions just as often as real ones.

      Conditions should be eased as a result of performance, not of junk science poly results. But if in fact the poly is used to ease restrictions, PLEASE enlighten us so WE can take advantage of such largess conveyed by Her Holiness Kamela Harris and her minions.

      • SanBernardino Parolee

        My reasoning is that the agent specifically said, “I talked to my supervisor about taking off some of your conditions and he said that because you don’t have any violations and passed your polygraph that he’s fine with getting rid of a few conditions. Can you come into the office on Wednesday to sign your new conditions.”

        At that point, agent changed the No Contact With Minors, Travel Distance, and Curfew restrictions.

        I’m not a proponent of polygraphs and the science seems skeptical at best, but in this case it worked to my advantage.
        I was actually telling the truth in my polygraph, and the results confirmed this. So, I’m not sure if the polygraph had an accurate result because of my answers or if it was just luck. Many people have told me that their true statements returned a deceptive response and their lies returned a not-deceptive response.

  18. mike

    Here we go gov officials adding on requirements regulations or restrictions on rso everytime a rso commits a crime or a sexual abuse takes place somewhere in the country. I guess state officials have ran out of ideas to put more restrictions or regulations or further ex post facto laws on registrants since I don’t really see how much worse they can make our lifes. Hopefully the pendulum will start swinging the other direction with the help of people like Janice and the courage of Frank lindsay.

  19. anonymously

    SkeletonLander, a registry of murderers would make more sense on the surface, given that victims of murder are the ones whose names and stories are often used to get the draconian system passed on registrants. But since I actually want reductions in the crime of murders committed and see the counter-productiveness of registries and the constant new provisions added, I would be against doing this to murderers too. Interesting that the 2 guys who allegedly committed the murders who were both GPS strapped parolees were not originally murderers/perps of violence of women, but only after being subject to residency restrictions and GPS, allegedly turned to that. They were living together in a truck behind a body shop. Sounds like they were living in deprivation of basic necessities, homeless basically and if it wasn’t for the one guy owning the truck, they would be streetsleepers. I think life should be made easier for people like this, not harder, which could push them over the edge. How were they supposed to fit into society wearing GPS monitors on their legs and anyone who sees the GPS thinks they are dangerous? It looks like the older guy, with the job, was the brains of the outfit, and owning the truck, gave the younger guy not much chance of success in life given if the younger guy didn’t go along with the older guy, the younger guy would not have a place to sleep or food to eat, and had not many other options. But I could be wrong and maybe the younger guy was more the planner of their alleged crimes. In any case, when the punishment phase is over, and punishment still continues, or when the punishment becomes cruel and unusual, making more harsher punishments in the same wrong direction, does not seem to be the answer.

  20. Bluewall

    How is this a breaking news?
    I was on probation and lie detector was mandated

  21. Michael

    To learn the truth about this junk science (polygraphs), and how to defeat it, go to:

    Pass this info along. And, if you are restricted from using a computer because of your conviction, there is nothing that says you can’t look over someone’s shoulder while they do it or have a friend print the info out for you.

    https://antipolygraph.org/

    And if the link did not come out it’s ANTIPOLYGRAPG.ORG

  22. Hannah Grace

    This is nothing new. San Diego County Probation has been doing this for at least two years. Of course, the burden of paying it is placed on the registrant and their family. If they fail, they are required to take another one and are required to pay for it again. How is it determined whether they pass or not? Just one more way this is a money-making industry . . .

  23. Someone who cares

    Has anyone on probation ever failed a question, re-took the test and then passed? We were still not told officially that he failed (nobody really wants to discuss the results). Also, can one obtain a copy of the results? I just feel that if we have to follow the rules (which is no problem), we should be entitled to something that states the rules and shows that he failed, so we can follow the rules? Any thoughts?

  24. A

    There appears to be a little confusion between the words “Probation” and “Parole” Two very different animals as far as I can tell. As I stated earlier on this post, I took the test, I passed the test, and the newest addition to the “Parole” sex offender containment model, is the Containment Team Meetings, which includes a combined table of Parole GPS supervisor, GPS parole agent, weekly therapist facilitator, psychologist supervisor, and Parolee.
    The parole agent does not receive the polygraph test, only the results of the test. I’ve not yet heard whether the pass or fail of the test effects parole one way or the other, but the Containment Team meetings have just begun this month here in N. L.A. County.

    • Timmr

      I think this containment model was first used in San Diego county probation many years ago, when I was on probation. It was apparently successful in reducing re-offense, so it was recommended by CASOMB for parole agencies. The thing is, is it the polygraphs (which I had) and the GPS (which they didn’t require then) or the fact that law enforcement and mental health care professionals were talking to each other that made the program successful? Or was it that the offenders did in fact get the care he or she needed. And, could it be that people given the alternative of probation rather than prison/parole, naturally are more receptive to changing their behaviors for the better? I think there is strong support for the latter.
      This country, with its religious traditions based on the power of mercy and love, seems nowadays to view any sort of mercy, even a strictly supervised probation vs prison as some sort of weakness. I’m not religious, but I believe recorded wisdom, your scriptures, dissertations, oracles, bills of rights what have you, are long accumulated knowlege that we ignore at our perile, and maybe one of the requirements of those entering law enforcement is to study these and know them before ever given a gun or power over another’s fate.

  25. mch

    Okay, so the polygraphs will cost 18 million? Add that to the 24 million already spent to monitor registered citizens and maintain the glorious web site. Somebody, or a lot of somebody’s are getting filthy rich off the backs of registered citizens at an astronomical cost to taxpayers. Now, if mandatory polygraphs are required, the cost balloons up to 42 million, but this is California, the land of budget over runs, so I’m guessing closer to 60 million the taxpayers shell out for protection from invisible boogeymen.

  26. Anonymous Nobody

    I don’t see how mandatory lie detector tests can be legal under the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment of the right to remain silent. I don’t see how they can force someone under threat of confinement to yield their Fifth Amendment rights, even as a condition of parole.

  27. James Townsend

    Believe it or not I have to take a lie detector test in March. I am in Virginia. After I got my letter, I called my PO officer and told him I didn’t want to take it. He ask me why and I said I’m a conscience objector. He said, we don’t have to go back in front of the judge do we, so I think he wants me to reconsider. Those things cost money. Mine will be 125.00 paid that day I think it violates the 5th and 14th amendment but am not sure. I been on probation for 2 years and had six weeks of sex classes. Its freaky that I was the only one in my class that didn’t have a victim, just the internet sex sting operation. I don’t know what to do as I don’t really know what they want. If they deceived me in this sting operation I’m sure they will deceive me in this lie detector test.
    Of all the sex offenders around the States’ there making money by the ton’s and some have to have these done every six months. Can one protest for biblical reasons or conscience reasons or something like that. I’m intimidated by all this. Can someone give me any advice.

    • FRegistryTerrorists

      I’m not a lawyer so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there are a ton of details and nuances regarding probation or parole of which I am not aware. But my take on it is that probation or parole is a privilege that a person is granted IN EXCHANGE for following a bunch of rules and having to jump through some hoops. I don’t think (generally) there is any question of any “rights” being violated because the choice of probation/parole is the person’s. If the person does not want to be on probation/parole and follow the extra rules, then he/she can just stay in prison instead. Probation/parole is something that is being given to the person.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t worry about the polygraph. They will try to deceive you but I don’t think it will be any big deal. I’ve taken one maybe 5 times. Just answer only what is asked and keep it as brief as possible. Do not get into “discussions” about anything (that would occur before or after the polygraph). And answer any way that you want. The key to remember is that polygraphs don’t work. The polygrapher certainly should know that. Everyone involved should know it. You might tell the polygrapher up front that you know it. They will likely try to verbally beat you down during and after the polygraph. Don’t worry about it. Stick to short, factual answers and regardless of anything that they say to you, say that you told the truth. Do not deviate from that in any way. And don’t let it upset you.

      Paying for a polygraph sucks and is a waste of money. But it is part of the price to pay for the privilege of staying out of prison. And of course it is part of the prison industry complex. There are tons and tons of people who have a LOT of incentive to spread the lies that polygraphs work. They don’t.

      Also, I would not use the term “sex offender”. That is a label that people want to stick on you for the rest of your life. Don’t allow it. I call a person who is listed on a Registry a “Registered Citizen”. Sometimes I call the person a “Person Registered for Harassment, Restrictions, and Punishment” (i.e. PRHRP).

  28. micheal222

    I have read this and have one comming in september. Im on probation in san diego, can i be violated if i fail? I hear no only on admission but also yes.. anyone know for sure?

  29. mma

    I think polygraphs are totally BS. I have a family member who is a wrongfully accused sex offender. Now he has to take the polygraph test several times. First two times he failed and had to continue with his rehabilitation. Now he recently took the polygraph test again, passed it and now in jail waiting for his court date. What I don’t understand is that you have to take a polygraph test and pass it to show you’re rehabilitated but you still go to jail. I don’t understand this at all and I think its wrong.

  30. Tammy

    Also in san diego, wondering if probation can be revoked from failed polygraph. Even if its 90 percent accurate 1 out of 10 is screwed.

  31. KangaroOCourt

    And roll-it…
    Did the main prosecution witness accuser testify confirming your innocence ? YES
    Did court personnel immediately huddle in back hallway.?YES
    Did readback of courtrecord kept from open court and allowed only behind closed doors.? YES
    Did they knowingly use false evidence in jury instruction.? YES
    Did judge keep a real private attorney from entering court case before sentence date.?YES
    Did a local civil rights activist call on your behalf to Correct the Record.?YES
    …..Now hook that machine up to those court phonies… See WHO’s lying..!!

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