In New South Wales, Australia, a police task force are currently debating the proposal of the use of chemical castration on sex offenders who are likely to re-offend. The drug in question suppresses the individual’s libido to lower their sex drive, and often effects their sexual performance by preventing the production of testosterone.
The drug in question is already used on a voluntary basis (100 sex offenders opted for the treatment in the UK in 2012) but if the new law goes ahead, it would mean judges could sentence convicted high-risk paedophile offenders to take the drug.
According to Tory Grant, New South Wales Justice Minister:
“One of the worrying statistics that came out of our investigation is that up to 17 per cent of child sex offenders are likely to reoffend in two years. We must do everything possible to reduce that figure.”
Chemical castration laws are in force in nine US states and also in a number of other countries, including the Czech Republic and Poland. However, some experts have questioned the effectiveness of the treatment – most notably the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
The main worry is that not only is the compulsory administration of the drug is not only unethical, but often unsuccessful and could leave the offenders with harmful side effects.
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