Alabama bill would compel sex offenders to undergo chemical castration

Would be condition for some parolees

By Eli Watkins, CNN
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(CNN) - Some sex offenders in Alabama would be ordered to pay for chemical castration as a condition of parole if Gov. Kay Ivey approves a bill recently passed by the state legislature.

Lori Jhons, a spokesperson for Ivey, a Republican, said on Wednesday morning the bill remained "in the review process."

Both houses of the Alabama legislature approved the bill late last month in an effort that would see the state joining the ranks of those with the procedure on the books.

The bill, put forward by state GOP Rep. Steve Hurst, would require someone "convicted of a sex offense involving a person under the age of 13" to begin chemical castration treatment at least a month ahead of release from custody and continue to receive treatment "until the court determines the treatment is no longer necessary." It said further that offenders must pay for the treatment, but that they could not be denied parole "solely" based on an inability to pay.

Hurst told CNN on Wednesday morning he did not accept criticism that such a measure was "inhumane," asking "what's more inhumane" than child molestation.

The bill defines chemical castration as "the receiving of medication, including, but not limited to, 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."

According to the bill, if a given offender chooses not to continue receiving the treatment, they will be in violation of parole and forced to return to custody.

The use of chemical castration has been controversial internationally, and several states have versions of chemical castration in their laws.

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