In California, polygraph testing is an intricate part of the California Containment Model of Sex Offenders (CASOMB) which came into effect by passage of Assembly Bill 1844 in 2010, also known as Chelsea’s Law. The Containment Model mandates counseling for sex offenders placed on probation or parole for a minimum of one year. Polygraph testing is used as part of a comprehensive approach in which the probation/parole officer, therapist and polygraph examiner work together toward risk assessment, treatment planning and monitoring of the sex offender.
In the treatment role, the polygraph examiner interviews and examines the offender regarding their personal history relevant to their sexual offense to break through denial which is believed to be a barrier to effective treatment. Polygraph testing has been shown to be effective in this regard. In the monitoring role, regular polygraph testing holds the sex offender accountable and determines whether the offender is potentially reoffending or engaging in conduct inconsistent with his or her conditions or parole or probation.
PCSOT consists of four types of examination: Instant Offense exams which are event specific for examines who deny any or part of their present sex offense conviction, Sexual History exams which verify the accuracy of the offender’s disclosure or his/her sexual history, a Maintenance exam which investigates the examinee’s compliance with treatment rules and terms and conditions of their parole or probation and Monitoring exams which covers any sexual re-offending or illegal sexual behavior during the term of their parole or probation.