Three years ago, Professor Don Grubin, was given the task of putting his theories into practice by heading up a trial programme to give sex offenders released from prison on parole a six monthly polygraph – or lie detector – test. He was, he said, convinced it would be successful in preventing reoffending.
This morning, Professor Grubin was interviewed on Sky television as part of a programme announcing ‘the success of the pilot scheme’. It is to become mandatory for all sex offenders, including rapists. If they fail the test – which is 85% effective, 15% nonsense – they will be recalled to prison.
The results of his trial, says Professor Grubin are, quote ‘invisible‘. Invisible results of a trial which will result in men being sent back to prison on the basis of an imprecise method of calculating ‘thoughtcrime‘?
“Have you thought of raping another woman”? “No”! “My 85% accurate machine says you are lying, back to prison you go”! Professor Grubin, is, of course, the Forensic Psychiatrist who advocates chemical castration of male sex offenders. At the moment he is only allowed to test his theory on volunteers, but watch this space.
It has become an accepted truism that one cannot speak out about any governmental measure that could result in less women being raped, less children molested, it being part of modern folklore that only the government can protect women and children from dastardly men. I will so speak out though, and risk the avalanche of ire that may fall on my head – when it concerns anybody being jailed on the basis of thought crime; and that is what this is.
Do not allow the fact that we are speaking of the modern bogey man – the child molester – to colour your judgment on this issue. I don’t object to polygraph tests per se, although they are notoriously unreliable and, as Floyd Fay proved, devastatingly easy to train a person – or group of people – to evade. I do object to the principle that this unreliable method will be used to recall men to incarceration of the grounds that they have offended once and may offend again. I particularly object to the false flag of ‘think of the children’ being raised as justification.
The ‘think of the children’ argument is a specious one. Like the CRB check, it only apples to those who have been caught offending – thus is no protection at all. The only protection is for parents, all parents, under all circumstances, to raise and protect their children with the watchful eye of Mother hens. Imagining that you can spend your days on the sofa watching back episodes of Sex in the City whilst inhaling non-tobacco leaf products, safe in the knowledge that your government will incarcerate, and possibly castrate, the offender who groomed ‘Our Mollie’s’ little boy is no way to raise children. Knowing that the last taxi driver to get caught raping a passenger has now had his bollocks cut off is not reason enough to land in a drunken sprawl on the back seat of this taxi safe in the knowledge that your government has ensured you won’t get raped.
The average prison sentence for non-aggravated rape is four years. You should be eligible for parole after two years and eight months. Do you really imagine that society will be any less at risk from rapists because one might have failed a polygraph test and spent an extra year and four months in prison?
What this will achieve is another nail in the coffin of taking personal responsibility for your children and your own safety, and more damaging, it will have breached the wall we have so far protected – against incarcerating anyone on the basis of the crime they may commit, or have thought of committing.
What think you?