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The latest version of the Domestic Abuse Bill has proposed that convicted offenders of domestic abuse are made to take a polygraph lie-detector test upon their release from prison in order to monitor their behaviour.

The aim of the regular polygraph tests is to stop those deemed at high risk from re-offending. The tests will be carried out to monitor whether or not offenders have breached their release conditions.

Although the tests are not 100% accurate, the Home Office has reported that it had already successful used the tests to monitor high-risk sex offenders and had been found them to be 89% accurate. The tests will measure changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate an sweat, all of which are signs the offender may present if lying.

If the proposed Domestic Abuse Bill passes, a three year pilot scheme will launch involving around 300 offenders of domestic abuse deemed at high risk. The offenders will take the test 3 months following their release from prison and every 6 months thereafter. If an offender fails the test they will not be immediately recalled to prison. However, the information produced by the failed tests will be shared with the Police on a regular basis to enable them to carry out further investigations as necessary. The offenders may face recall to prison if their test results show that “their risk has escalated to a level whereby they can no longer be safely managed in the community”. Furthermore, if they refuse to take the test or attempt to produce false results this could also lead to them being recalled to prison.

If the pilot scheme is successful it could be rolled out nationwide.

If you require any advice or assistance in relation to domestic abuse, please contact our Family team here at Ramsdens on 08000 147720 or send us an email to book a free information session at any of our offices across Yorkshire.