Child Molesters In Alabama Will Officially Be Chemically Castrated

Governor Kay Ivey has recently signed a bill into law which will require child molesters to undergo chemical castration.

Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill into law that will require child molesters to undergo chemical castration one month before they are released from custody. Also, offenders will have to pay the bill for the treatment.

This law refers to offenders "convicted of a sex offense involving a person under the age of thirteen". One month before their release, they will have to be chemically castrated and will be required to continue treatment, "until the court determines the treatment is no longer necessary." Offenders will also have to support the costs of the procedure, though a denial of their parole couldn't be based "solely" on the inability to pay.

Chemical castration means "the receiving of medication, including, but not limited to, medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, which, among other things, lowers, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person's body."

If the offender selects to halt the treatment, the move will be treated as a violation of parole, forcing the offender to resume their incarceration.

Chemical and surgical castration are controversial across the world. The Alabama Civil Liberties Union, have argued that the bill raises constitutional concerns and is akin to unusual and cruel punishment while violating people's right to privacy as well. Randall Marshall, the executive director of ACLU of Alabama, noted that the law misses the mark in preventing child molestation.

"It certainly presents serious issues about involuntary medical treatment, informed consent, the right to privacy, and cruel and unusual punishment. And, it is a return, if you will, to the dark age. 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."

Various versions of chemical castration laws are on the books on several states, like California, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Florida, and Washington.

Caitlin Donovan, a spokesperson for the National Patient Advocate Foundation, has also criticized the law, noting that it might lead to a slippery slope, ultimately having a much farther reach than currently envisioned.

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