June 11 (UPI) — Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law that requires anyone convicted of committing a sexual offense against a child under 13 years of age to undergo chemical castration treatment as conditions of parole.
Alabama House Bill 379 states individuals convicted of such acts must undergo chemical castration treatment at least a month prior to being released on parole and will continue the treatment, which is to be administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health at the parolee’s expense, “until the court determines the treatment is no longer necessary.”
Failing to continue with the treatment for any reason will be considered a parole violation, it said.
The treatment consists of taking medication that “reduces, inhibits or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones or other chemicals in a person’s body,” according to the bill.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, passed the state Legislature June 4 and was delivered to Ivey’s desk last Friday.
“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,” Hurst said. “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.”
Randall Marshall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, doubts its effectiveness and thinks it probably violates the ban on cruel and unusual punishment, AL.com reported.
“It’s not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it’s even medically proven,” Marshall said. “When the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution.”
California, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana and Wisconsin have all passed similar bills for offenses committed against minors.