BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama has now joined a handful of states turning to chemical castration to prevent sex offenders from striking again.
Many questions still linger, including how exactly does the process work?
As a condition of parole, men and women convicted sex crimes against children 13 years of age and younger, will now, by law, be required to undergo testosterone suppression therapy to decrease or eliminate sexual desire.
The process is known as chemical castration. Chemical castration can be done by pill or injection.
State Rep. Steven Hurst, R-Munford, sponsored the chemical castration bill after attempts to legalize surgical castration failed.
“We want to work with, hopefully, a medical facility of some sort or research, possibly even UAB or someone else to try to track each individual who takes this medication, to see how it affects them,” Rep. Hurst said.
Hurst said the drug will be individually tailored to each person based off several factors including blood type and DNA. The state health department will oversee the program. Offenders will have to pay for treatment.
“Unless they’re indigent. If they are indigent, they have to prove to the local authorities that they are not making any money," said Hurst.
The therapy will then be paid for with taxpayer dollars. Critics said the treatment could be a burden on the state financially.
Hurst says those deemed indigent will undergo periodic financial checks. Whether Alabama will be able to effectively implement the treatment only time will tell.
A search of the state sex offender list shows dozens of rogue parolees. Hurst says non-compliance will be met with stiff penalties. "Probation can be revoked, [They can be] put back in jail," said Hurst.
According to research, the treatment does not cause sterilization, nor is it permanent.
Hurst said he’s also looking to implement a life-long chemical castration requirement for repeat offenders, Non-compliant offenders, and offenders who move into restricted zones.