Covid-19 and polygraphs

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    • #71424 Reply


      When NARSOL’s New Mexico affiliate Liberty and Justice Coalition discovered that the DOC was still requiring persons under community supervision to tr
      [See the full post at: Covid-19 and polygraphs]

    • #71429 Reply

      Cathy A Zuniga

      Still required here in Texas – they have stopped at least for Fed the group therapy – still privates going on and polygraph – my son has one on Friday.

    • #71439 Reply


      In TN, treatment classes and in-person reporting have been suspended, however, polygraphs will go on as usual. I guess the state just can’t stand the idea of being completely hands-off in this health crisis. I will be required sometime in early May to take my regular compliance polygraph. I think it’s an unacceptable risk, but I have to do what I’m told or I go to jail. A cruel choice to have to make; stay safe or go to jail.

    • #71498 Reply


      Let’s hope that whatever lessening of the standing requirements that occur during stay at home and social distancing orders will provide us a unique opportunity to disprove the myth that all these crazy interventions are needed. If the naysayers were right, and we know they are not, there would be a surge of recidivism without all the draconian “safeguards.”
      Many “ordinary criminals” have been recently released to the public, and early reports point out recidivism from them. While our fellow RCs are unlikely to get released, hose of us who are under the registry but having the opportunity to be a little more normal in our lives need to make sure everyone knows we are not recidivist. We price this every day. But here is a new opportunity to get out into the spotlight.
      I cannot conceive of any proof that a polygraph would or could stop a crime. And as a therapist, I also know that much of the sex offender treatment modalities are stuck in the middle ages where counseling theory is concerned. Another unlikely prevention tool. So forcing these poor souls to travel and risk their lives without evidence-based efficacy of those requirements should make those therapists involved reconsider the part they are playing. Polygraphs are not therapy. They are a law emforcement tactic to get confessions or self-incrimination. Along with duress, this requirement when the risk is credible and recognized by the Whitehouse, CDC, Congress, and the surgeon general seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    • #71516 Reply

      Old offender

      Fortunately, my city in Colorado has a full time detective who handles sex offender registration and residency checks. I called him the other day and he told me they are still doing in person registration with some added safeguards, like no fingerprinting, He told me if I am concerned about the face to face contact, I could call him and if nothing about my information has changed, he will do the registration by telephone and he will bring me the paperwork to sign when he does the residency check. BTW, he does the checks with an unmarked car and he is not in uniform. He is always friendly and polite. I am very pleased that we have such a professional handling things in our city.

    • #71535 Reply


      While reading this and the comments, so many thoughts are whirling around in my head. Polygraphs are a tool that only intimidates people and makes them susceptible to failing. It is just one of the ultimate bs tools used to mess up the lives of people who are already willing and able to just go on with their lives. I know, its the same old story over and over, but when will it end. Trying to be optimistic, but when I read something like this my heart just drops to my knees and I have to wonder how things got to this point. Off the point slightly, when states are virtually bankrupt, how on earth will they continue with the registry bs and say they need federal money for something else.

    • #71552 Reply


      Donna hit it right on the head:
      Here in Pennsylvania; we’re sent Registry Paperwork to fill out and send back In-Person Contacts are for now, suspended. My Polygraph was supposed to be this month, but I’ve not heard of when or if I’ll be required to take it yet. I’m not worried about it personally. It’s part of The Draconian Treatment Scheme I have to endure being an SVP, and Mandated to Register for Life. Recently, The President was reported as wanting to authorize about $500,000,000 more in Stimulus Funding I believe. I don’t what for, but one thing is certain. When The States run out of money-and the way things are currently going it’s very possible they might-what’s to be Prioritized with what money The Government has to borrow again? Oh I know! The Politicians’ Purses, Wallets, Special Interest Group Buddies, Big Business, and of course The Far-Those Without Sin-Right!!
      In a way, I think The Coronavirus Pandemic, just might be the Instrument that wakes The Conscience of The Country as a whole, up.

    • #71554 Reply


      Fortunately, the Federal system stopped that.

    • #71566 Reply


      Here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania I’m still going to in-person group sessions and I have a polygraph on Monday since I failed my last one since I was worked up about the bus travel and how packed it was. Plus a nice 20 minute walk along a rather busy road with not alot of clearance between me and traffic had my nerves shot. It’s enough BS that I am required to do these polygraphs but now I need to put my health on the line too! I got laid off from work due to lack of work and safety but apparently anybody on the federal level is stuck risking their lives. The Megan’s law offices are not doing in person check-ins so the state is being responsible but I guess that doesn’t apply to our government. The only silver lining is if I get sick enough to need to go to the hospital I might have a good lawsuit on my hands, if I live through it that is.

    • #71571 Reply

      Hostage in Texas

      Polygraphs. What a joke. I took 11 of them here in the great oppressive state of texas. Guess what? I lied on everyone of them and “passed” with flying colors! How in the world can this country still keep this farce going???

    • #71692 Reply


      /When will polygraphs be banished? Why isn’t more being done in this area? Polygraphs seem like a pretty big problem area. Unscientific, constantly proven to be unreliable, no backing from any science or therapy organization/agency and a violation of the fifth amendment and yet I see NO action from Narsol or any other group.

    • #71727 Reply


      “You can stay in prison for 3 more years, or get out on our probation program that requires periodic lie detector tests.” This compelled me to take lie detector tests. Compelled speech is unconstitutional. Sure they can make excuses, deflect, and lie to exert power and control over there victims any way they like. At the end of the day when they look in the mirror all they will see is a violator, offender of human rights and someone who deserves to be in the system they have created. Most of the people that administer these tests are police officers and have sworn to uphold the constitution $$ can make bad men out of anyone. We need to make a human rights offender registry.

    • #71796 Reply



      “Most of the people that administer these tests are police officers and have sworn to uphold the constitution $$ can make bad men out of anyone. We need to make a human rights offender registry.”

      Hmm. The issue is a lot more than money but rather an actual evil that is inside of those people. It’s all part of the price to pay for getting charged with an SO charge.

    • #71819 Reply


      Group sessions here in San Diego, California are still being conducted via telephone or videoconferencing. Polygraphs are also still going on. When will this nonsense with the polygraphs end? They do NOT work, they are NOT accepted by the courts because they are not reliable, so why does this continue? Sure it’s good business for those in the polygraph business, but otherwise…what is the point? It’s a waste of money, and more importantly…a waste of time and grossly unconstitutional.

    • #71835 Reply


      Hmm, I see. My story and opinions aren’t important. Hopefully the requirements do cease, during the pandemic. Well, that’s a wrap. Good luck.

    • #71838 Reply

      Ben T

      In Arizona (Pima County), the groups have been temporarily changed to telephonic. Not sure about the polygraphs, but the monthly in-person visits have been postponed.

    • #72176 Reply


      On the federal system in oklahoma city, polygraphs are still required while groups are being done over the phone.

    • #72611 Reply



      You need to do your homework. Polygraphs are admissible if it is stipulated on both sides. Also, there is a judge here in CA that requests a polygraph be conducted in certain cases.

    • #72707 Reply


      On a related note: why did doctors stop participating in executions? Because somebody finally pointed out that it violated their professional ethics to do no harm. These “therapy” groups are in the same position. The psychologists who run them also have professional ethics. One of the big ones is that everything they do be based on science.

      Use of polygraphs is the opposite of science. Not only is there no proof they work, there’s tons of proof that they don’t work. It’s been settled. I had my attorney assure me that hooking it up to a Macbook suddenly made it work! 😛

      Second point is that if you are in a therapy group, you are being treated for something. How many have been given a medical diagnosis from the DSM-5? I’m guessing none since there is no medical diagnosis in the DSM-5.

      So, just like doctors and executions, we have medical professionals who are treating people with no diagnosis using a non-scientific test to intimidate. What would happen to a medical doctor who was giving cancer medication to patient that didn’t have cancer? Exactly.

    • #73342 Reply


      In tenn group therapy stilll uses face time eeach week , but the probation /parole office is opened , my hubby had to go there for his office mthly visit , nothing changed , not even them wearing mask wasn’t happening , then his reg officer was out doing home visits , polygraph he canceled due to many health serious conditions he has and the fear of catching covid , since no social distance in place with polygraphs , what is it with this stuff ,do they not care about families that may catch covid and it spread or our love ones whose seriously been diagnosed with serious illnesses die ? Cause their high risk ;( I’m so tired of all this non proven junk polygraph stuff they do , hubby been having to deal with it ten years now , and even the polygrapher said it doesn’t make sence that these have to keep happening like this over ten years is too long and it shouldn’t be that way , but will the polygrapher stand up and tell the govt this is garbage and unconstitutional , to keep making people take them years on end , I seriously doubt it , 200 dollars for two hrs is easy money for polygraphers , this sham should be declared unconstitutional !!
      Hub still hasn’t taken his next polygraph yet , he’s waiting see what his P.O. says , but I told him that he needs to ask the po what safety measures in place with polygraphs ? They say you can’t refuse to take it I know , so ask them during pandemic and soc distance guidelines ,, what are the safety measures the polygraphers doing ? And if they doing nothing ,, then why not get the cdc involved ?? Maybe they will get shut down to the virus leaves the country , which I think it’s here to stay , also them cases are riseing 21 states , why can narsol get the cdc involved to have polygraphs shut down during pandemic and they can’t punish you for not taking them due to the no soc distance in place with polygraphs , and better yet , why can’t the narsol get the polygraph requirement ruled as unconstitutional due to the false positives or inconclusive sit produced by some perspiration blood pressure , stuff , if this was only a treatment procedure who parole and pro involved and threaten people they fail they go to jail or put punishment on them or they can’t see their new borns etc , umm think about the punishments they do ,, it’s not about just treatment ,,

    • #73363 Reply

      Gregg Gustin

      1more thing. Y’all do know that this whole Covid thing was a scam. The only virus out there is one of created fear, control and isolationism.

    • #73362 Reply

      Gregg Gustin

      Wow, they emptied our county jail EXCEPT for SOs, serious crimes like murder and also domestic violence.

      Most DOC appointments are canceled. I’m not sure about polygraphs since I’m no longer subject to those. But what a joke they are. I discovered after the first one that they are totally bogus and passed every one for about 20 years whether I was 100% honest or even when the only question I answered honestly was “what is your name?”

      As a matter of fact, the only times an examiner even mentioned a slight reaction on a question, more often than not it was one I told the truth on.

      The polygraph machine is mainly there for looks and is scientifically incapable of detecting falsehoods. The true “lie detector” is all based on the examiner’s subjective skill at reading body language & facial expressions before one is even hooked up to the machine.

      In 20 years I never came close to failing one no matter how much I lied.

    • #73358 Reply


      Well the Northesst Tn didn’t stop. All of our treatment groups met with no way to social distance.

    • #73505 Reply

      Thomas Litwinsky

      Still going on here at Fed level I’m 69 high risk for covin-19. I’ve given my medical condition records to them. I have AML, as a result of treatment, I have immunosuppression, graft vs, host disease of the lungs. I continue to have worsened cardiac function. I’m at high risk of infection. Group treatment cancel along with 1 on 1. My PO won’t enter my house, yet he wants me to take a polygraph next month. The tester must have body contact with me. I’ve been on probation over 7 years less than 3 left. I’ve told him that to do so in the middle of this pandemic I would be risking my life. I have no problem taken a test but not at the risk of my life. He refuses to reply to my concerns.

    • #73704 Reply


      The Feds are still doing it

    • #74064 Reply

      Old Offender

      I am jealous of those who can pass a poly regardless. I failed 75% of those I took even though I NEVER lied. As I result I got additional(and expensive) consequences. When will lawmakers and the courts wake up to the unreliability of polygraphs

    • #74075 Reply


      You are correct. There is no DSM5 diagnosis for sex offender. That isn’t a illness or even a pathology. It’s a legal (questionable) term. A designation. I am a therapist, but I am also a RC. So, I am very knowledgeable on this topic for obvious reasons.
      The so called “treatment groups” are written mostly from a political point of view, like many government programs and training, to cover the objectives of those making the rules. Often these are sex offender management boards. They are made up of various people, some if whom might be therapists, more likely, forensic psychologists, clinical social workers, it others who look at people from the preconceived “illness” model assumption. They can get away with it mostly because there are not in fact therapy groups, they are psychoeducational groups, requiring little to no science. Treatment is pathology specific. Psycho-ed is more about teaching and then practicing or processing. So they skate by on this technicality.
      Most sex offender treatment that is sponsored by the state is built off of very old theories which are no longer considered valid. One of those theories is that people who commit sex crimes are pathologically driven to do so and are incurable. The word incurable means they have an illness. But if they have an illness that would relieve them of some of the responsibilities. This is why they traded alcoholism as an illnessrather than a behavioral choice. It allows them to charge insurance and to take responsibility off of the person in order to create masses of people willing to come to treatment. no stigma. But in the case of sex offender treatment, the only people that gain anything or the people who are practicing it. There is big money to be made. And, since it is mandated, you cannot quit nor can you disagree with the therapist.

      I have noticed amongst my peers that those who do sex offender treatment are highly control addicted. Their boundaries rapport and they think they have the answers.

      In reality you cannot group anybody into one specific treatment modality when the expressions of their issues are so widely detailed from one another. Sex offending is an outcome of a behavioral choice or an emotional choice. It is a crime, and should be treated as a crying of choice. The pathologizing of all sex offenses is in my opinion is unethical.

      wow counters do not take an oath like doctors to do no harm, it is codified in the ethical codes and in most licensing boards that the therapist acts on the best interest of the client. mandated groups take autonomy away from the client, by eliminating the choice to withdraw. This puts them under the control of therapist. ethical therapist do not believe in control. They believe in autonomy. But a clinical social worker is not technically a therapist. They are management people. They manage behavior. And they try to convince people to follow their rules. They call themselves clinicians because they work with mentally ill people and people with personality disorders and other dysfunctions. Psychologist fall into the same group. They are there to figure out what’s wrong with somebody. They are not there to find out what’s right with someone.

      Counselors look at the pain and try to help resolve it. An ethical counselor would not take on a role that would cause the clients harm. The counselors who demanded a group’s do so because it is an income stream, not a calling. it’s guaranteed money with mandated attendance with minimal amounts of actual personal investment. The reason why you have to pay for it with cash is because insurance won’t cover it because it is not a mental illness.

      However, there are some tricks to DSM diagnosis that most people do not know. For one thing we have a catch-all called adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorder can be applied to anybody who is having any type of stress at any time for any reason. And that is how they pathologize or diagnose people who do not fit neatly into it actual category. The DSM-5 is a highly politicized book and is not based solely on science. That matter, most therapy is not necessarily scientific. We have what’s called evidence-based practices which are practices that have been researched over a long period of time and have been shown statistically to be effective. but many practices that are effective have not been studied in this way. Some things are too hard to study using quantitative statistics. In my opinion sex offender treatment would fall under this pseudo-scientific treatment mentality. It’s basically a belief that if you shame the client control the client and otherwise course the client they will somehow not reoffend even though they are not technically cured. Remember you can’t cure so who’s not till. That’s the abuse of the word that politicians use because I know you can’t cure a sex offender has sex offenders are not technically sick.

      The only thing you can do in a sex offender specific group is to follow requirements specifically to the letter, but never never never incriminate yourself just because you’re being pressured into saying things that may not be true. I remember years ago when I was in group they said that the average sex offender has many victims and therefore if we say we only have one we are lying. They pressured us for 6 months to confess to at least one more. I never had one more and I did not confess to it. They even tried to coerce me into saying that if I made a victim of someone in my mind that would count. but that would possibly bring more charges and more pathological diagnosis. It’s all a big trap to increase the power of the therapist and the management board over the individual. It’s all a big lie.

      Your goal with group should be to discover something about yourself that’s useful, report on your discoveries without incriminating yourself, and to get done. Getting done is more important than having “fair” treatment. So long as you do not get prosecuted or treated for things that you did not do. It’s a tough call. But you cannot win this on the moral grounds so you have to win this on the strategy grounds.

      by the way, there are some ethically appropriate and fair-minded therapist out there trying to honestly help sex offenders. But they’re hard to find and it’s hard to know if they’re legitimate until after they have proven themselves. So you have to make yourself vulnerable just to find out. It’s a very unfair situation.

    • #74076 Reply


      @ Old Offender
      polygraph tests are not science. They do not prove or disprove that you’re lying. Their interrogation tools only. They are administered by people who are trained in law enforcement interrogation. Their goal is to get a confession. The preconceived position of a polygraph technician is the only one that seems to count. If they think you’re guilty or if they need to find you guilty they will find you guilty of lying. It is simple as that.

      Your could be the most evil person on the planet but if you say the right things to them they will pass you. On the other hand you can be straight as an arrow all the time and be totally honest and they will not believe you. It really comes down to a subjective opinion. That is why it is not science. However it can be considered expert testimony if properly constructed by the technician. That’s why they’re dangerous.

      Since you are required to take them you have to learn how to take them and not fail them. It was lots of resources online that help understand that. But basically you need to relax. If you look nervous or jittery or shift around or have your eyes darting around or stare at you intensely trying to hold eye contact these are going to seem incongruent with someone who is being truthful in the mind of the technician. They are watching you the same way accounts are watches when they’re doing therapy. They’re looking for body language to suggest when you’re in congruent with your words. So you need to relax, and you need to be congruent with your words. you might even need to practice with someone at home using some of the questions that you know they will ask.

      If they say deception implied your reaction should simply be I don’t know why it would say that cuz I’m telling the truth. If they say well there must be something you’re leaving out, such as… And I add something don’t agree with that say no that’s not that’s not what’s happening. Or if they say maybe it’s something similar that you’re thinking about what might that be? you could say no I was thinking about the question you asked me I don’t know why the machine would say such a thing.

      There are a lot of tricks they play. Like leaving the room for a minute and coming back acting as if they have more information. Putting a thick file on the desk in front of them as if they have lots of information on you already. Jiggling the machine acting as if it’s not working right this ain’t okay there it goes. Or asking you to lie and looking at it say well it’s very clear that it knows when you’re lying so I would recommend you don’t like. All these things are designed to get you anxious. Anxiety makes you react. Anxiety is a natural state when you are in a setting where you are under threat. But they used anxiety against you.

      You will be naturally nervous. So you need to let yourself be nervous but be authentic with it. Do not ramble, do not talk too much, do not ask 4 answer off the record questions.

    • #75658 Reply

      jennifer mork

      Oregon is also still requiring polygraph n groups n it’s on my son n it’s messed up for our families friends n where he lives to put us all at risk can you help us in Oregon please

    • #77554 Reply

      Charles Hallman

      Well it looks like I’ll be the lab rat for this group. I had a polygraph scheduled in March and then COVID-19 and the lockdowns and I was unable to take it. Let me rephrase that, I refused to go out in public and disregard the presidents/govt orders to stay home. Even with the lockdowns still in place is was required to reschedule, fine I rescheduled. For July. Days before my appointment I caught the virus so obviously I was unable to keep my appointment and had to reschedule for August. On August 11th my PO filed for a motion to adjudicate. Keep in mind my councilor and I had been in communication and I had been suspended until I could go and take this ridiculous test that only proves if you get anxious or have high blood pressure during stressful times. I only discovered I had a warrant when I was running an errand and my roommate called to tell me 3 cops had just stopped by. So I checked for warrants in my county and sure enough found my name. A few days later I had a meeting work my po and the final part of our phone interview consists of 5 questions. After he asked the first one my response was, “Why does it matter you already filed a motion?”
      So my PO wasn’t even going to tell me this was the case. Then he asked if I would come take a random you tomorrow. Hmm no. So I can get picked up? Asked him what I was supposed to do because later that week I had the test scheduled. Don’t get caught and hopefully you can make it to your test. That doesn’t make an already stressful situation even more stressful. Needless to say I am now not taking the test before my hearing so they can explain to the judge how they wanted me to disregard govt orders and risk the health and safety of myself and others. 5 years I’ve taken polygraphs and UA’s and never failed one due to the fact that they are easy to trick which is why no respectable judge or state allows this flawed instrument to be used in he/she’s courtroom. Really would like to slap a civil suit on my PO and the city for the money they cost me having to use to bond out. Who knows when I’ll have a court date but wish me luck.

    • #77568 Reply

      Brent Hartzell

      Illinois is still doing it. I may have to take again because the provider that recommended the polygraph agent, has lost his contract. So I will have to do the in-person interviews all over again and possibly the polygraph.

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