There is overwhelming evidence that indicates that our current system of punishing or treating sexual offenders is failing us. We do not intervene in an effective manner when young offenders 1st exhibit deviant sexual behavior. This behavior is usually not addressed until it escalates into a violent act of rape, sodomy, or sexual homicide. This flaw in the status quo manifests itself in the estimated 700,000 women who are raped or sexually assaulted in the United States each year.
Chemical castration is not an acceptable form of punishment for male sex offenders, however. Many people argue that chemical castration is "cruel and unusual punishment," but others are more concerned with the ramifications of this kind of treatment. Chemical castration as a cure for a disease may be simplistic because it implies that sex crimes are a result of a medical condition. While depo-provera may be effective in lowering sex drive, administering this drug does not address the real motivation behind this behavior. Furthermore, there is no proven effective "cure" for pedophiles, which means that chemical castration has no value for these crimials. Another criticism is the lack of uniform guidelines for use of chemical castration across the states. And what incentives are avilable to insure that criminals will continue treatment once they are released from custody?
Crimes like rape are committed by sex offenders out of the desire for power over others, and the more violent sex crimes are committed to release rage on victims. Chemical castration may lower the sex drive, but it is not clear that it will erase these motivations for sex crimes. Furthermore, a sex offender may deepen his rage when he contemplates his loss from chemical castration, possibly increasing the probability of further volatile situations. [Laura Matthies]
This item on the ACLU News Wire from August, 1996, states that if signed into law, the chemical castration legislation in California would be the first of its kind in the nation. [Recommended by Laura Matthies.]
This New Release from September, 1996, gives reasons why chemical castration is unconstitutional: it is cruel and unusual punishment. [Recommended by Dawn Burden.]
While no argument is made with regard to the law being cruel and unusal punishment, the Conference of Delegates for the State Bar of California presents arguments for and against the chemical castration law. [Recommended by Laura Matthies.]
This article in The Seattle Times describes the California law mandating chemical castration of sex offenders. It presents arguments to support the view that chemical castration is not a good form of punishment for these people. [Recommended by Ashley Levin.]
On January 1, 1996, the Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) Act became law in California. This means that the State can now follow an offender's maximum punishment with confinement for treatment. This paper explains the ramifications of this l aw as well as its many constitutional difficulties.
This article cites research that is designed to help answer the question, "Is it cost effective to treat sexual offenders?" Margaret Alexander's "meta analysis" of 68 studies covering 7,753 offenders is summarized.
This paper was prepared by the American Medical Association for its members. It has two primary goals: acknowledge that their is a sexual assault crisis in the United States, and introduce new ideas on how physicians can play an important ro le in the solution.
Describes different types of denying sex offenders and the treatment they receive.
Study of 560 male sex offenders who were followed for 12 years. Sex offenders who were jailed again committed a variety of crimes and showed a pattern of aggressive behavior.
Looks at the legality of the Sexually Violent Predator Statute in Washington state. It explains the Act, what it is suppose to accomplish, and the objections against it.
This article is a review of empirical studies of sex offender recidivism. It looks into both treated and untreated offenders.
Many laws were passed between 1937 and 1976 that sent sexual offenders to hospital or prison where they were suppose to receive treatment. Most of these laws have been repealed. This paper discusses how the treatment has been overshadowed by the law.
Studied records of 541 men convicted of sex crimes in Norway. They were all 1st time convictions. The results indicated that there were three factors associated with recidivism.
Analyzed recidivism rates of 50 youth in a state correctional facility and then assessed those rates two years later after they had completed a Serious Sexual Offenders Program.
Can biological treatment be constitutionally required by the state? This article examines that question and lists and describes the types of biological treatments available.
A historical overview of "criminal sexual psychopath" legislation. It describes how these laws work (or don't work) and what the American Bar Association and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry have to say about them.
This study does a reanalysis of follow-up data of 178 rapists and child molesters. The resulting statistics are presented and analyzed.
231 male subjects were placed in three categories: exhibitionist, pedophile, and sexual assaulter. A 10-year recidivism follow-up study was done. The results and statistics are discussed.
114 adult sex offender were used in this study based on three types of treatment. The outcome is described in terms of 1) those rejecting treatment, 2) those dropping out of the program, and 3) those that completed the program.
This is a review of how the court system has changed since the late 1970's with respect to sex offenders. The focus has shifted from the rights of defendants to the successful prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.