Senators debate pros/cons of chemical castration - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators debate pros/cons of chemical castration

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Some may consider chemical castration extreme, controversial or even necessary, and today lawmakers tackled the last bill on session agenda that would go after sex offenders who hurt those most vulnerable in our community.

Senator Brant McCreadie has called it a ruthless and relentless attempt, but is something that had to be done, noting, "Bill 99 is the first step into addressing Guam's rape problem." Introduced back in May, Bill 99 finally had its day on session floor and would establish a hormone or anti-androgen pilot treatment program for persons convicted of sex crimes. Essentially, it's the Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders Act.

"This problem is not going to solve itself," said the second-term Republican policymaker. "We are not going to wake up one morning and act if there's no problem and act as if we found a solution. We haven't."

The bill's intent is to impose treatment of chemical castration for convicted sex offenders who are eligible for parole or post-prison supervision. Drugs are administered are regular intervals to reduce the levels of testosterone in the body, in doing so reducing sexual drive and resulting in infertility. Similar castration laws are in effect in California and Florida, with more than a handful of other states who have experimented with similar legislation. "Is it a perfect solution? It's about as close as perfect as you're going to get," McCreadie argued.

Lawmakers like Senator Tom Ada, however, stated while he agrees with intent, the bill may provide a false sense of security. "Ww are going to parole a rapist because he has volunteered to be chemically castrated, as if suggesting, that's it, chemical castration, this guy is as about as safe as they can be, and that's not the case," he said.

Freshman senator Mary Torres also had concerns, arguing, "What I worry about this is when we impose this medical castration on as a condition of parole, when we impose it as a mandatory condition, what we're really doing, is we're imposing on their civil liberties. I believe the judicial system allows for people to rehabilitate."

Senator Nerissa Underwood meanwhile expressed her disappointment with the actual bill, stating it was crafted with a lack of care, and adding, "It's disappointing for a bill of this nature and with the intent to protect the victims, that there wasn't this type of attention to putting the package together."

McCreadie says in Europe, when used as a mandatory condition of parole, chemical castration decreases the occurrence of repeat offenses from 75% to 2%.

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