Alabama Requires Sex Offender ‘Chemical Castration’

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Albama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are yor than 13 to undergo “chemical castration treatment” as a condition of parole, reports The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone. Other states have passed similar laws, including California and Florida in the 1990s. The Alabama law says sex offenders whose victims were younger than 13 will have to take “medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, that, among other things, reduces, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person’s body.”

The law requires the treatment to begin at least one month before a parolee is released. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless a court determines he cannot. Randall Marshall of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said  chemical castration treatment has been rarely used in other states that have authorized it. Marshall thinks it likely violates the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. “It’s not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it’s even medically proven,” Marshall said. “When the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution.” Sen Cam Ward said the law will apply to a small number of offenders because many who molest children won’t be considered for parole. He believes the treatments will work for those who are.

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