Sex offenders will be given medication to reduce their testosterone levels
LONDON: Convicted paedophiles in Britain are to be offered chemical castration in order to keep their libido in check . Backed by the government, the scheme would offer paedophiles who have finished their time in jail, medication to reduce their testosterone levels to those of pre-pubescent boys giving results which are similar to the effects of castration.
Professor Don Grubin, a criminal psychiatrist from Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience has been appointed by the Department of Health to co-ordinate the treatment nationally.
The medication which would be offered to control sexual behaviour include Prozac and cancer drugs. “This isn’t part of the punishment, but aims to reduce the likelihood that they will need to be punished again. The question is, do you want them out there with treatment, or without it?” said Grubin.
By offering the scheme, Britain joins Sweden, Denmark, Canada and eight states in the USA which have similar projects and are said to have been successful. Evidence from Scandinavia suggests that rates of reoffending by paedophiles have been cut to five per cent from more than 40 per cent thanks to the drugs.
Critics of the scheme express concerns that too little is known about the side-effects of the drugs, which can also leave people feeling lethargic and trigger hormone problems in men. Currently the only treatment available to sexual offenders through the National Offender Management Service (Noms) was of a psychological nature.
But Noms states in a circular to probation officials: “Whilst psychological intervention will remain the preferred method of treatment for most sex offenders, in certain cases this could usefully be supplemented by medical treatment.”
Interestingly public reaction to the scheme has been supportive There is also the feeling that leaving it up to the offender to take the medicine is not a foolproof method.
6 months ago