Alabama governor signs chemical castration bill into law

Grant Boone
June 12, 2019

- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law legislation that would require certain sex offenders to be chemically castrated before their parole.

Under the new law, a person required to undergo the chemical castration must begin the treatment no less than one month prior to their release from custody, and must continue treatment until the court determine it's no longer necessary.

Kay Ivey signed a bill that requires offenders to undergo the reversible procedure as a condition of their parole.

The law requires the Alabama Department of Public Health to administer the treatment, which would reduce the production of testosterone or other hormones in the body. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless a court determines he can not.

Both houses of the Alabama Legislature approved the legislation late last month after it was put forward by state GOP Rep. Steve Hurst.

There can be side effects associated with chemical castration, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, depression and hot flashes.

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Yes, once a person stops taking the medication.

The piece added that "chemical castration' is a misnomer, as the process leaves the testes intact, can be reversed and does not prevent a man from reproducing".

Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, disagrees.

Under the measure, certain offenders must receive the medication before they are paroled from prison.

"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", Marshall said, adding that there likely won't be a legal challenge to the law until it is "actually implemented and ordered by a judge". California passed a chemical castration bill in the 1990s for repeat child sex offenders, and a similar law exists in other states including Florida, Louisiana, Montana and Oregon.

"I'm very serious", Hurst said.

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