Alabama OKs Chemical Castration for Some Sex Offenders

Henrietta Strickland
June 12, 2019

Signing the bill into law, Republican Alabama governor Kay Ivey said that the government would not give chance to pedophiles state.

The bill was introduced by Steve Hurst, a Republican representing Calhoun County, who claimed that the law should be taken further and offenders should be permanently castrated through surgery.

The bill, HB 379, requires convicted offenders who abused a child under the age of 13 to take drugs - such as medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment, that block the production of testosterone as well as other naturally occurring hormones and chemicals in the body that drive libido - as a condition for parole.

"I'd prefer it be surgical, because the way I look at it, if they're going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life", Hurst said to WSFA News.

In the majority of these states, the treatment is a reversible chemical procedure, and in many of them, an optional process for which offenders can volunteer to have to hasten their parole.

The law requires the treatment to begin at least one month before a parolee is released. The Alabama Department of Public Health will administer the treatments. "Now that's one of the most inhumane things there are".

"I don't think there's any evidence that stopping medication makes people more likely to offend", Professor Don Gruben of the University of Newcastle, the architect of an effort to create a voluntary chemical castration program in the United Kingdom.

The use of chemical castration is internationally controversial, and critics say forced chemical castration violates human rights.

"It certainly presents serious issues about involuntary medical treatment, informed consent, the right to privacy and cruel and unusual punishment. It's about power, it's about control", said Randall Marshall, the executive director with the ACLU of Alabama.

"This kind of punishment for crimes is something that has been around throughout history, but as we've gotten more enlightened in criminal justice we've gotten away from this kind of retribution", Marshall added in his statement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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