Reply To: Federal judge in Indiana holds mandatory “sex offender” classes unconstitutional


This issue of “confess or else!” is really the crux of state-mandated sex offender treatment. Why do you think so many “treatment” programs require sexual history polygraph examinations? It’s to find out what else you’ve done. What’s so insidious in my book is that even though they say there’s no threat of self-incrimination, the threat still exists. In my state, you have to divulge the age, and gender of the victim. You have to disclose whether or not the child was a stranger, an acquaintance, or a relative. You have to tell when the abuse started and when it ended. Now, if that does not give them enough pieces of the puzzle to figure out who certain child victims are, then nothing does! In the case of a family member, all the state has to do is send detectives to an offender’s family and see which child was of the same gender and age during the time the abuse happened and which of those children the offender was around during that time. From there it won’t take long to ferret out the identity of that anonymous victim. Also, any other victim that didn’t disclose their abuse at the time may come forward years or decades later. If the sexual history report the offender filled out still exists, the history questionnaire could be subpoenaed and once again they could find a little John or Jane Doe that matches the description and other details of the victim that’s now pressing charges and there you have the offender’s own words…a confession. The state won’t bother with the polygraph results themselves since they are inadmissible, but that hand-written questionnaire is a different story. I don’t know how much protection the written statement on that questionnaire that states the report will not be used to incriminate would be. If the police can lie about non-existent witnesses or evidence and get by with “reasonable deception”, it makes me wonder about that “We promise not to use this against you for prosecutorial purposes” promise.

If treatment is the real aim of these polygraphs, then why don’t they just stick to the instant offense and not threaten the offender with violations of his supervision based on an assertion of “I didn’t do it!!” in cases when the offender has maintained innocence from the time he was accused?? Why try to force those who maintain their innocence to admit to something they may well have never done in the first place??? I know some offenders will lie and deny their offenses sometimes when they’re dead guilty, but does that make it right to sacrifice the rights of every other offender in the state based on those who won’t own their behavior?