Health Care

Alabama OKs Chemical Castration for Some Sex Offenders

Alabama OKs Chemical Castration for Some Sex Offenders”

Alabama has a new law that requires some sex offenders to undergo what's known as "chemical castration". The new law dictates that individuals convicted of sex crimes involving minors under the age of 13 must begin the process of chemical castration the month prior to being released from custody.

Kay Ivey signed a bill that requires offenders to undergo the reversible procedure as a condition of their parole.

The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone.

Under the Alabama law, chemical castration treatment is planned to start a month before an inmate is set to be released from prison, and will continue until the court decides it is no longer necessary, according to the bill. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless it's determined he can not.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Steve Hurst of Munford, and passed on Thursday, May 30, the next-to-last day of the legislative session.

MI used to have a law mandating chemical castration as a parole condition, but an appeals court in 1984 ruled it unlawful. "A parolee may elect to stop receiving the treatment at any time and may not be forced to receive the treatment; provided, such refusal shall constitute a violation of his or her parole, and he or she shall be immediately remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections for the remainder of the sentence from which he or she was paroled". A judge, not a doctor, would decide when the procedure could be stopped; or, the convict can decide to stop the procedure and serve out the rest of his term in prison.

Yes, once a person stops taking the medication. "It's about power, it's about control", said Randall Marshall, the executive director with the ACLU of Alabama.

"I worry about any precedent that allows the state to use health care as a form of punishment", Donovan said.

Seven other states and U.S. territories - California, Florida, Guam, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Wisconsin - have authorised chemical castration, but it's unclear how often it's used.

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