Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed HB 379, the chemical castration bill, into law Monday.
Under previous Alabama law, a sex offense committed against a child under the age of 12 was either a class A or class B felony. Class A and B felonies make an offender ineligible for parole. The new law raises the age to 13, but allows parole on a condition of undergoing chemical castration. The castration would begin to be administered one month before release through the use of Progesterone to block the hormone Testosterone from being produced.
After release, the chemical castration treatment will be administered by the Department of Public Health until it is no longer necessary. The cost of the treatment is paid by the parolee and while indigence is not an excuse for ending treatment, indigence alone will not be considered a parole violation. Ending treatment however will be a parole violation and result in the completion of the original sentence.
Supporters of the bill argue that it is designed to protect children. Critics challenge the bill as the State imposing involuntary medical treatment and cruel and unusual punishment.