Guam Passes Controversial Chemical Castration Bill

Sex offenders could be castrated before their release
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2015 12:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – In the US in 2013, there were an average of 25.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people—but in Guam, there were 64.2. Today, the US territory took what one Guam senator called the "first step to addressing Guam's rape problem" when the legislature passed a bill, authored by that senator, authorizing the creation of a chemical castration pilot program. Under the program, convicted sex offenders could be referred for chemical castration one week before they are released, USA Today reports. The controversial bill must still be signed by the governor. As Pacific Daily News reports, chemical castration (official name: anti-androgen treatment) involves using hormone medication to reduce a person's sex drive.

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The bill would allow the Guam Parole Board to require certain offenders to be chemically castrated as a condition of parole; offenders would also be allowed to choose permanent physical castration instead. It passed 8-7, with much debate on the session floor. One senator wondered if it would be a slippery slope to other eye-for-an-eye type punishments: "Is there going to be a piece of legislation to cut out tongues, cut out hands?" One of the bill's supporters proposed an amendment to address some of the opponents' concerns; the amendment, establishing a 48-month period for the pilot program and requiring it to be evaluated by the Department of Corrections after 36 months, was adopted. (Read more Guam stories.)

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