n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - Polygraph potential in South African corrections : in pursuit of reform, reintegration and recidivism reduction

Special Edition 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


Although not without controversy, polygraph usage in South African corporate society is ongoing and typically consumed by specialised sectors such as the retail and security industry. Despite appreciable utilitarian benefits and the fact that successes have been obtained abroad with regard to polygraph application in penal settings, polygraph is currently not utilised in the formal South African corrections environment. Although it is undeniably somewhat contentious in terms of its convention, it would appear that there is considerable merit for the use of polygraph as a management/investigative tool and quasi-coercive mechanism generally. This article fuses contemporary polygraph literature with an empirical survey of the polygraph perceptions of an interned female offender cohort in an attempt to develop strands of evidence that will potentially vindicate or vilify its locomotion in custodial settings. The utility of polygraph application in corrections is considered in respect of its capacity to enhance inmate veracity, promote parolee obedience and mitigate recidivism through polygraph deployment in the exigent correctional and recidivism theatre. This article seeks to edify some of the more ambiguous matters underlying and potentially curtailing the development of a polygraph logic in South African prisons.

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