Young B.C. sex offenders were subjected to controversial testing with a genital measuring device [designed to measure arousal rates] for more than two decades, despite regular concerns from within government.
Children's Minister Mary Polak pulled the plug on the penile plethysmograph last month. She acted not because of objections to the program but because one of the contractors administering the tests on young offenders has been charged with sexual assault.
Alan Markwart, director of youth forensic psychiatric services, said in an interview that some government officials considered the use of the penile plethysmograph on young sex offenders invasive. Others argued its use could prevent future sex crimes as well as provide a measure of what turns on young sex criminals.
Under the program, sex offenders as young as 13 were required to look at images of nude and semi-nude children and listen to audio descriptions of forced sex while their physical responses were measured.
"It's been long recognized that the procedure is quite intrusive," Markwart said. "It's been a matter of a kind of ongoing internal discussion about, 'Is this really merited, given the level of intrusion and the effectiveness versus the potential benefits?"'
Last edited 10/08/08(Sun)22:44.