An Oklahoma lawmaker is hoping a new bill will be passed allowing for the chemical castration of violent sex offenders. A bill would give violent sex offenders the option to be chemically castrated for early release.
KOCO reports that Oklahoma Senator Mark Allen is behind the push for Senate Bill 671. The Senator from Oklahoma’s District 4 says the bill could help cut down on the overcrowding in Oklahoma prisons. Senate Bill 671 would allow violent sex offenders the option to go through counseling and receive a chemical castration for early release. Allen is quick to point out that the chemical castration is entirely voluntary though early release may entice sex offenders to take part in the program.
“It’s a voluntary program to get an early release from prison. They can go through the process of chemical castration, or in Texas, it’s physical castration.”
Allen also notes that the castration and hormone therapies have been proven to have a high success rate in other states already offering the program. Part of the reason the programs work is because they “take the biggest part of the reason away why they’re in jail.”
“It’s already being offered in nine states that I researched. They’re in there for a reason, and this is going to take the biggest part of the reason away why they’re in jail.”
News 9 notes that the wording of the bill indicates that the program will be voluntary for first-time sex offenders, but “required” for offenders will multiple offenses.
“A person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense may, upon a first conviction and in addition to any other punishment provided by law, undergo treatment…as part of conditions of release. It goes on to state after a second conviction an offender ‘shall be required’ to undergo treatment.”
Attorney David Slane has represented more than 500 sex offenders and agrees with Allen that chemical castration could be the answer many sex offenders are looking for as an early release option. Slane notes that he has seen first-hand the benefits of the program.
“I remember one in particular who told me he went to his doctor voluntarily, used this hormone therapy and as he said ‘It cured me. I no longer have the thoughts. I no longer have the sex drive.’ For years afterwards he had never re-offended. So to me that was proofs in the pudding. There may be something here.”
Though Slane agrees that castration should be a voluntary option for sex offenders, he does not think it should be mandated, regardless of the number of offenses committed. Therefore, Slane feels the section of the bill that notes repeat offenders “shall be required” should be removed.
“The idea that we would force drugs on people that have not been approved by the FDA would subject the state to lawsuits, and I feel like that part needs to be taken out.”
What do you think about the state offering early release for sex offenders who choose to undergo castration? Should repeat offenders be forced into the procedure?