The Justice Department and its law enforcement components routinely conduct polygraph examinations for a variety of administrative and investigative uses.
According to the Inspector General’s Office, a polygraph examination is a process that uses diagnostic instruments capable of measuring and recording someone’s physiological reactions as a person answers questions. Because physiological reactions can vary between someone telling the truth versus someone being deceptive—comparing an individual’s physical reactions to different questions—an examination can detect reactions that may indicate deceptive responses to specific questions.
While the examinations are generally “not” admissible in court, various components of the U.S. Justice Department, in particular the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA], the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] and the Inspector General [IG] still use the polygraph as an investigative tool to identify and/or eliminate suspects conducting criminal, foreign counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations, as well as assist agents handling administrative inquiries conducting internal affairs and misconduct investigations and/or pre-employment and security screenings.
Aside from the aforementioned agencies, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Justice Command Center [JCC], Antitrust Division [ATR], National Drug Intelligence Center [NDIC], Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR], Federal Bureau of Prisons [BOP], and the U.S. Marshall’s Service [USMS]—all use the polygraph examination as a tool, but do not operate their own programs. During Fiscal Years [FY] 2002 thru 2005, the Justice Department’s Inspector General [IG] said the aforementioned agencies conducted in excess of 49,000 polygraph examinations.
With more than two  decades of service in the FBI, some list members have been certified by FBI, U.S. Department of Defense and the American Polygraph Association as examiners, while still others have used the polygraph as a tool conducting investigations. Eliminating and/or identifying suspects and/or providing assistance conducting administrative inquiries, polygraph examinations have long been considered by the Justice Department and the FBI as a legitimate means to help investigators identify suspects.
Directory members can be extremely helpful to anyone seeking information and/or requiring a professional opinion concerning using the polygraph as an investigative tool. Accordingly, looking for a expert—please draw upon the website’s search feature, entering the appropriate skill or need, as well as the geographical area of preference to make contact with an FBI specialist.
Retired FBI Agents and Analysts interested in securing a Directory listing and/or a personal email address, should submit an online application requesting membership.
[NOTE: Information contained was obtained from a report issued by the Justice Department’s Inspector General titled, “Use of Polygraph Examinations in the Department of Justice,” dated September 2006.]