Alabama governor signs chemical castration for child sex offenders bill

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Monday afternoon Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo "chemical castration treatment" as a condition of parole.

The measure applies to sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving children younger than 13.

The law requires individuals convicted of such an offense to continue treatments until a court deems the treatment is no longer necessary. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless a court determines he can not.

"This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama", Ivey said.

Chemical castration involves injection of medication that blocks testosterone production.

As the Washington Post explained in an article last week, "An offender could choose to stop getting the medication and return to prison to serve the remainder of their term".

Once released, if the parolee decides to stop receiving the treatment, they will be found in violation of their parole and immediately sent back to prison.

According to the Associated Press, the castration would occur before their parole.

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.

Some studies show offenders who undergo chemical castration have a lower recidivism rate than those without it.

"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 ages", Randall Marshall, the executive director of the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told CNN in a statement Tuesday.

"It's not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it's even medically proven", Marshall said.

"I argued and debated this particular bill because I felt that it was far-reaching to the extreme", said State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, (D) Birmingham".

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