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Alabamians waiting to see if Gov. Ivey will sign chemical castration bill

The National Children's Advocacy Center talked with WAAY 31 about chemical castration.

Posted: Jun 6, 2019 5:55 PM
Updated: Jun 6, 2019 6:57 PM

Alabamians are waiting to see if Governor Kay Ivey will sign a chemical castration bill.

It would require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to agree to the process before they're paroled. The National Children's Advocacy Center talked with WAAY 31 about how effective a chemical castration law would be.

The National Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director, Chris Newlin, explained they've done lots of research about chemical castration. The center said they're not sure if the bill will impact victims or stop sex offenders from committing crimes.

"Most sexual abuse is done with the hands, if we look at the sexual abuse of children, so it's more hands than genitals that are involved. Not that that directly connects, but there is a misnomer to think if you chemically castrate someone, they're no longer going to have a sex drive. That's just not the case," Newlin said.

The process reduces, inhibits or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones and other chemicals in a person's body to reduce sexual desire and performance. The bill is intended to reduce recidivism in sex offenders.

Newlin says the process, however, doesn't get rid of all sexual desires.

"It is a myth to think this is removing all deviant sexual desires or removing all sexual desires or making someone impotent. Those things are just not necessarily the case," he said.

The bill states convicted offenders would be required to pay for the treatment, which would be administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Newlin said he has questions about who would be required to go through the treatment.

"What about female sex offenders? This is really only intended for males. What about someone who is 16 or 17? Is there some consideration there?" Newlin said.

With many questions unanswered, Newlin said he has a message for all parents about trusting a sex offender who is released and going through chemical castration.

"This is no way. Should make someone feel like, 'Hey, everything is fine with this person. There is going to be no problem at all. Absolutely not,'" he said.

Currently, there are eight states that have chemical castration laws for sex offenders, including Florida and California. It's unclear when Governor Kay Ivey could sign the bill into law.

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