June 5 (UPI) — Alabama’s state legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would force people convicted of child sex crimes to undergo chemical castration.
The bill, HB 379, would require any person older than 21 who is convicted of a sex crime against a child younger than 13 to undergo a procedure that would greatly reduce their testosterone production before leaving prison as a mandatory condition for parole.
Under the proposed law, the offender would be required to pay for the treatment, which would be administered by the Department of Public Health, and would establish refusal to undergo treatment as a violation of parole.
“If we do something of this nature, it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers,” said Republican state Rep. Steve Hurst, who introduced the bill.
The bill, which Hurst has previously introduced, was sent to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for a signature on Tuesday.
Attorney Raymond Johnson told Alabama news station WIAT that the bill will face legal challenges under the 8th Amendment, as child molestation already has legal consequences including prison time followed by probation with parole.
“They’re going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time and for the rest of their life have to be castrated,” he said.