Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law Thursday evening that requires sex offenders whose victims are younger than the age of 13 to undergo “chemical castration treatment” as a condition of parole.
The treatment, which consists of taking medication, is meant to suppress or prevent the production of testosterone.
Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Munford), who sponsored the legislation, said his intention was to stop sexual abuse of children.
“I’m very serious,” Hurst said. “Not only did I want it to pass, I want to follow it on through to the future where we can try to improve it. One of the ultimate goals that I want to do is for us to track it and to make sure what medication works for what individuals.”
Hurst added, “People say this is inhumane. ‘How can it be any more inhumane than molesting a small child?’ Now that’s one of the most inhumane things there are.”
As reported by AL.com, “The chemical castration 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.'”
AL.com also reported:
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. The Alabama Department of Public Health will administer the treatments.
Alabama state Sen. Cam Ward, who oversaw and handled Hurst’s bill in the Senate, said the law will only apply to a small number of offenders because most offenders will not be considered for parole. He also said he believes it is a “good law.”
“I think it’s a good law,” Ward said. “I think it’s a good deterrent.”