Monitoring Registered Sex Offenders
By Brian Del Rosario, Marketing —
In 2015, there were 843,260 registered sex offenders in all fifty states and territories of the US. Of those registered offenders, 265,000 were under the supervision of corrections agencies. Each year many police departments across the nation conduct compliance checks of these registered sex offenders to help prevent them from committing more crimes. These compliance checks verify if any offenders are violating probation or parole terms.
Often when an offender is placed on probation there are various restrictions. These restrictions may include not having access to internet, not being allowed around children or having contact with past victims. In conjunction to this, the registered offender may not enter certain areas designated as “sex offender free zones,” such as schools, parks, etc.
With the large registration of sex offenders, and increased legislation, monitoring registered sex-offenders is a difficult job and can be overwhelming for many parole officers.
Many departments of correction use polygraph testing as a way to monitor sexual offender compliance to the law and to help to prevent repeated offenses. In various states, polygraph testing—or lie detection testing—is not admissible in trial as evidence, but it can help guide probation officers and treatment providers when dealing with sex offenders.
David Gentile, a psychologist and approved treatment provider in sex offender court in Pennsylvania, views these exams as a way to guide treatment. “It’s hard to admit to this kind of stuff, and I get that. It is an extremely shameful crime,” Gentile said. “Being honest when they come into treatment is not the norm because there is a great sense of denial or minimization.”
A More Efficient Way to Ensure Compliance
Over the years, various states have begun to hire more treatment specialists and others to help assist in the treatment and rehabilitation of sex offenders incarcerated. Due to the great number of offenders, many offenders are placed on waiting lists. In Pennsylvania, polygraph testing has been used to determine eligibility of treatment programs. EyeDetect is now being used in conjunction with polygraph to determine if sex offenders have violated their parole. It can assist parole officers and specialists in helping offenders be truthful about their doings an d stay honest in the future.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.