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The Use of the Polygraph in Assessing, Treating and Supervising Sex Offenders: A Practitioner's Guide

Daniel Wilcox (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-74224-2
358 pages
April 2009
The Use of the Polygraph in Assessing, Treating and Supervising Sex Offenders: A Practitioner


The Use of the Polygraph in Assessing, Treating and Supervising Sex Offenders presents an in-depth examination of the contribution that polygraph testing can make to offender treatment programmes, with a particular focus on sexual offenders.
  • Features coverage of a very timely issue – the British Psychological Society has convened a working party to assess the contribution of the polygraph to forensic work
  • Potential for greater book demand with the Home Office's current consideration of research on polygraph testing with a view to increasing its usage
  • Primary focus on sexual offenders
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Table of Contents

About the Editor.

List of Contributors.

Series Preface.


Foreword by Eric J. Holden, Past President, American Polygraph Association and Chair, APA PCSOT Committee, 2007-2009

1 Overview: Opportunities and Responsibilities (Daniel T. Wilcox).

2 The Clinical Use of the Polygraph with Sex Offenders: Caveats and Considerations (David Whittingham).

3 Pre-Conviction and Post-Conviction Polygraph Testing: A Brief History (Daniel T. Wilcox and Lars Madsen).

4 The Empirical Evidence for the Value of Post-Conviction Polygraph in the Treatment and Supervision of Sex Offenders (Lars Madsen and Daniel T. Wilcox).

5 Basics of Post-Conviction Sex Offender Polygraph Testing (Daniel E. Sosnowski and Daniel T. Wilcox).

6 Case Studies in the Utility of the Polygraph (Daniel T. Wilcox, Zerine O’Keeffe and Caroline Oliver).

7 Polygraph Testing Internet Offenders (Jos Buschman and Stefan Bogaerts).

8 Risk Assessment and the Polygraph (Theresa A. Gannon, Anthony R. Beech and Tony Ward).

9 The Accuracy of Polygraphy in the Treatment and Supervision of Sex Offenders (Lars Madsen).

10 Sex Offender Polygraph Testing in the United States: Trends and Controversies (Peggy Heil and Kim English).

11 Other Post-Conviction Applications of Polygraphy (Shay Addison and Lou Crisilla).

12 Interviewing and Interrogation (J.P. Blair).

13 Alternate Technologies for the Detection of Deception (Jennifer M.C. Vendemia, Michael J. Schillaci, Robert F. Buzan, Eric P. Green and Scott W. Meek).

14 Forensic Assessment of Sexual Interest: A Review (E. Kalmus, Anthony R. Beech and B. Warberg).


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Author Information

Daniel Wilcox is a Chartered Clinical and Forensic Psychologist based in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. He has published and presented extensively on the use of the polygraph in assessing, treating and supervising sex offenders.
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"Overall, the book is both readable and informative bringing the reader up to date with current thinking and research in this area. It is a recommended read for those interested in improving their understanding of the use of the polygraph with sex offenders." Child Abuse Review, 2010

"This book is timely, its publication coinciding with the launch of limited compulsory polygraph testing of some sex offenders in England and Wales. Wilcox has drawn together a range of acknowledged experts in a book which will illustrate some of the promising developments in this field, as well as caution about polygraphy's limitations and potential misuse."
Roger Kennington, Senior Probation Officer / Project Coordinator, Sexual Behaviour Unit, National Probation Service Northumbria

"A valuable collection on the use of the polygraph with sexual offenders, combining practical suggestions, scholarly reviews and interesting stories. The editor should be commended for the care taken to position the polygraph within the larger domains of clinical evaluation, risk assessment, and lie detection. Even for readers who have no special interest in the polygraph, the research summarized in this volume has much to say about sexual offenders and sexual offending."
R. Karl Hanson, Senior Research Scientist, Public Safety Canada

"This book critically evaluates a substantial body of evidence that polygraph-assisted interviews with sex offenders provide substantially more information than self report or file information alone. It is vital reading for those involved in the assessment, treatment or community supervision of sex offenders, and for policy makers who wish to provide these practitioners with the best tools to protect the public."
Professor David Middleton, De Montfort University, UK, Former Head of Community Sex Offender Strategy and Programmes, National Offender Management Service

"This book should be required reading for all practitioners of post-conviction sex offender testing.  This singularly comprehensive and authoritative guide will be most helpful to psychologists, polygraphists, therapists, parole and probation officers in the assessment, treatment and supervision of sex offenders.  I highly recommend this book without reservations."
James Allan Matte, President of Matte Polygraph Service, Inc., member of adjunct faculty of the Backster School of Lie Detection, American Polygraph Association,  Society for Psychophysiological Research, Association for Psychological Science, American Society for Testing and Materials, and Honorary President of the British Polygraph Association

"This publication likely will become a standard reference for professionals in polygraph, sex-offender treatment, management, and supervision. It is a wonderful compilation of information for those who want a clear and concise explanation of PCSOT and a glimpse at the role polygraph may have in the future world of post-conviction oversight. I am not aware of any publication today that offers such a broad spectrum of forward thinking views, information, and futuristic thinking as does this book by Daniel Wilcox."
Eric J. Holden, Past President, American Polygraph Association and Chair, APA PCSOT committee, 2007-2009

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