Jump to content

Chemical Castration Condition for Parole in Alabama

News Article   (1,315 Views 27 Replies 765 Words)
by J.Adderton J.Adderton, MSN (Member) Writer Verified

J.Adderton has 20 years experience as a MSN .

7 Followers; 51 Articles; 26,965 Visitors; 258 Posts

advertisement

Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, signed a controversial bill requiring “chemical castration” as a condition of parole for people convicted of certain sex crimes. This article will take a closer look at the Alabama law and discuss the potential medical and social issues surrounding the treatment.

Chemical Castration Condition for Parole in Alabama

Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, signed a controversial bill requiring “chemical castration”  as a condition of parole for people convicted of certain sex crimes. Alabama joins eight other states with similar laws enacted to reduce the risk of convicted sex offenders committing similar crimes after release from prison.

What will Alabama Require?

People convicted of certain sex crimes, including rape, sodomy or incest, involving victims younger than 13 years of age will be required to undergo chemical castration.  Sex offenders eligible for parole will be required to:

  • Take a testosterone inhibiting or other hormones to lower sex drive
  • Start receiving treatment 1 month prior to their release from prison
  • Most offenders will be required to pay for treatment
  • Continue taking the medication until a judge rules it is no longer needed
  • Treatment will be administered by the state’s Department of Public Health
  • Intentionally stopping treatment will result in a felony

At this time, it is not known how many Alabama sex offenders tthe law will affect.

About Chemical Castration

Chemical castration involves administration of pharmacological agents to reduce testosterone to a prepubescent level.  The goal is to suppress the offenders sexual urges and assist in suppressing sexually deviant thoughts and behaviors.  Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), the active ingredient in Depo Provera, and cyproterone acetate are commonly used drugs. They have the following affects:

  • Lower testosterone levels in men
  • Lowers sex drive
  • Reduce ability to become sexually stimulated
  • May lesson aggression in men

What Other States Have Castration Laws?

In 1996, California became the first state to set requirements for chemical castration for sex offenders. Since then, eight other states, including Alabama, have enacted similar laws.  These states include Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.

What Are the Pros?

The most relevant advantage of chemical castration is the contribution to public safety. Research has shown chemical castration substantially lowers recidivism rates (the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend) to 2% from 75% of sex offenders left untreated.  In addition, it costs less to treat sex offenders through chemical castration than to house in a prison facility.  Lastly,  offenders can reenter society and be a productive member with an increased level of supervision that would not be received without chemical castration.

What are the Cons?

Critics opposing chemical castration have both medical and societal concerns.  Since the effects of the medication is temporary, repeat administration is needed and treatment is costly. Other concerns include:

Medical considerations

The drugs used for chemical castration can have serious side effects.

  • Lower estradiol levels leading to osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Impaired glucose metabolism
  • Impaired lipid metabolism
  • Depression
  • Hot flashes
  • Infertility
  • Anemia
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased muscle mass

The side effects may increase in relation to the duration of treatment.  Also, the cost of treatment may not make follow-up and on-going treatments financially feasible for some.

Ethical considerations

There are several key arguments against chemical castration of sex offenders.

  • Not all sexual offenses against children are of pedophilic interest and the treatment would not be effective (i.e. crimes of opportunity or the offender has an antisocial personality)
  • The treatment is not effective on women, who account for about 7% of registered sex offenders
  • The law constitutes cruel and unusual punishment by forcing people to change body chemistry as a condition of parole
  • Alabama’s law requires a judge, not a physician, to explain the treatment and side effects to the convicted sex offender, therefore, raising questions of informed consent.
  • Concerns that a sex offender could potentially be “coerced” into agreeing with chemical castration

Alabama’s law will go into effect on September 1, 2019.  It is unknown how many inmates will be affected by the new law.  

What are thoughts on Alabama’s new law?  Do you have a for or against argument to share?


Resources:

What to Know About the Chemical Castration Law

Coercion, Incarceration, and Chemical Castration:  An Argument From Autonomy

Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders:  Physicians View

I am a nurse with 25 years experience in diverse settings over the course of my career. I have enjoyed adding "writer" to my job list.

7 Followers; 51 Articles; 26,965 Visitors; 258 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

1 Follower; 11,462 Visitors; 1,240 Posts

I don't agree with this practice at all.  This is an area that is dangerous ground for our government to be involved.  If they are still a risk, keep them in prison. 

We can't say child rape is an act of violence and then count on a drug that reduces sex drive to be the cure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 135 Articles; 186,875 Visitors; 20,738 Posts

In Illinois we have a sexually dangerous person designation that allows the state to continue to hold a prison deemed a danger to society. 

IMHO chemical castration opens up a closet we don't want to enter: remember how they sterilized mentally ill people in the past or performed lobotomies on people who "were mentally defective."

Sexually Dangerous Persons Act

Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics in the US

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,599 Visitors; 482 Posts

Alabama strikes again. 🙄

How about just keep them locked up in jail? I have a problem when pedophiles get less time than drug addicts and other nonviolent offenses. And get Pedophile Roy (Moore) behind bars too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

24 Visitors; 5 Posts

1 hour ago, traumaRUs said:

"IMHO chemical castration opens up a closet we don't want to enter: remember how they sterilized mentally ill people in the past or performed lobotomies on people who "were mentally defective."

I have to respectfully disagree with this. I see what you're saying, but mental illness is a completely different thing than child molestation. Someone who rapes or molests a child made a conscious choice, whereas mentally ill people who have psychological disorders have no choice. We have every right as a society to discipline and punish the ones who have intentionally caused harm towards others, especially innocent children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,719 Visitors; 301 Posts

13 minutes ago, NurseBlaq said:

I have a problem when pedophiles get less time than drug addicts and other nonviolent offenses

Same. I think sex offenders should get extended jail time. If people who commit drug offenses get 20 years in prison, then why not sex offenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hawaiicarl has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical care.

6,817 Visitors; 305 Posts

I disagree with chemical castration, too kind, these pervs should be locked in a room with the victims parents for an hour …. unless they are the parents, then they should be put in the nearest maximum security prison in general population with a sign on their neck that says I like little kids.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orion81RN has 5 years experience.

7,311 Visitors; 676 Posts

45 minutes ago, pksev6259 said:

I have to respectfully disagree with this. I see what you're saying, but mental illness is a completely different thing than child molestation. Someone who rapes or molests a child made a conscious choice, whereas mentally ill people who have psychological disorders have no choice. We have every right as a society to discipline and punish the ones who have intentionally caused harm towards others, especially innocent children.

Yeah...by locking them up. Chemical castration is serious business. If one can justify chemical castration, surely one can justify more prison time. 

 

My feelings would probably vary by circumstance. But maybe lock them up longer and only release earlier if they agreed with *informed*  consent to chemical castration. I don't know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

24 Visitors; 5 Posts

12 minutes ago, Orion81RN said:

Yeah...by locking them up. Chemical castration is serious business. If one can justify chemical castration, surely one can justify more prison time. 

 

My feelings would probably vary by circumstance. But maybe lock them up longer and only release earlier if they agreed with *informed*  consent to chemical castration. I don't know. 

I mean sure, we can keep them in prison for longer, but once they get out, they're probably gonna go and do it again. The chemical castration decreases their sexual urges which will most likely solve the actual crime. It's either that, or give them life in prison so they can never do it again, which would be an outrageous cost for tax payers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

142 Visitors; 8 Posts

Sex offenders are sick people they do need the drug to manage their sex drive, so give them the drug and make them pay for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orion81RN has 5 years experience.

7,311 Visitors; 676 Posts

1 hour ago, pksev6259 said:

I mean sure, we can keep them in prison for longer, but once they get out, they're probably gonna go and do it again. The chemical castration decreases their sexual urges which will most likely solve the actual crime. It's either that, or give them life in prison so they can never do it again, which would be an outrageous cost for tax payers.

Yeah, I typed out a whole thing about them being likely to re offend, but just couldn't get a decent point across. So, I deleted it. 

I don't particularly care about the cost to tax payers. If it means a person is saved, I simply don't care the cost of imprisonment. That plays zero factor in my thoughts on sentencing with these types of crimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

1 Article; 16,343 Visitors; 994 Posts

3 hours ago, NurseBlaq said:

Alabama strikes again. 🙄

To be fair, this practice was started in California according to the article. I'm actually kind of surprised to see that such a controversial practice has been adopted in some of the most progressive states (CA, OR) as well as the most conservative states (TX, LA, GA) in the country. I wouldn't think that CA and OR would be on board with this type of legislation. 

I feel link bringing attention back to Alabama over and over again is just to try to make the article relevant with the current news cycle, even though this practice has been going on for two decades.

Edited by adventure_rn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×