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The awkward truth about lie detectors

Posted By admin On July 31, 2012 @ 2:12 am In Prison Planet | Comments Disabled

Tom Chivers
London Telegraph [1]
July 31, 2012

Polygraphs, the lie detector machines beloved of Fifties comic books and Jeremy Kyle shows, have a chequered history. American law‑enforcement agencies continue to use them, despite what critics claim is a lack of evidence that they actually work.

Now our Government has announced plans to use them to help determine whether or not paedophiles and rapists should go back to jail.

The Ministry of Justice will allow probation officers to send paroled sex offenders back to prison [2] if a polygraph finds they have been lying. This follows a pilot study by the University of Kent [3] which found that offenders were twice as likely to offer “clinically significant disclosures” – such as an admission of entering an exclusion zone around a school – if they were subjected to polygraph tests.

This is the latest example of British law-enforcers adopting technologies and methods that many deride as flawed at best, pseudo-science at worst. Graphology (the study of handwriting to reveal personality), voice-stress analysis, even “mind-reading” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines: all have been posited as methods for sorting the honest from the deceitful. And it is not just the police who have been seduced by these devices; the Department for Work and Pensions has used voice analysis in an attempt to detect benefits cheats.

Full article here [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] London Telegraph: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100173508/the-awkward-truth-about-lie-detectors/

[2] The Ministry of Justice will allow probation officers to send paroled sex offenders back to prison: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9414112/Sex-offenders-will-take-lie-detector-tests-to-keep-a-check-on-them.html

[3] a pilot study by the University of Kent: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/research-and-analysis/moj-research/investigating-disclosures-sexual-offenders.pdf

[4] Stubborn glaciers fail to retreat, awkward polar bears continue to multiply: http://www.prisonplanet.com/stubborn-glaciers-fail-to-retreat-awkward-polar-bears-continue-to-multiply.html

[5] Body scanners replace metal detectors in tryout at Tulsa airport: http://www.prisonplanet.com/body-scanners-replace-metal-detectors-in-tryout-at-tulsa-airport.html

[6] Scientists unveil new detectors in race to save Earth from next asteroid: http://www.prisonplanet.com/scientists-unveil-new-detectors-in-race-to-save-earth-from-next-asteroid.html

[7] TSA Backs Off Independent X-Ray Scanner Safety Test Knowing Truth Came Out in 1998: http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-backs-off-independent-x-ray-scanner-safety-test-knowing-truth-came-out-in-1998.html

[8] Analysis – Death of Libya’s Gaddafi avoids awkward trial: http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis-death-of-libyas-gaddafi-avoids-awkward-trial.html

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