Europe’s leading human rights body has criticised the Czech Republic for continuing to surgically castrate male sex offenders. The Council of Europe claims castrations had sometimes been performed without warnings of side effects and on men not capable of making an informed decision. In the past ten years 94 castrations have been carried out and a further 300 Czech men have undergone chemical castration since 2000.
Sweden, Denmark, Canada and 8 US states are using chemical castration, Britain is offering it to offenders leaving prison. Australia looked at the evidence and rejected it. What is chemical castration?
The arguments against are that they don’t lower offending rates, we don’t know enough about the psychological impact on chemical or surgical castration, plus it only tackles the physical aspect of sex offending not the mental attraction. The Council of Europe said the practice is degrading and amounts to mutilation.
The arguments for are that it is effective in reducing repeat offending – that’s according to the Czech government. Chemical castration is reversible, and countries that use it say it can be offered as a way for sex offenders to be released safely into the community.
Is castration about punishment or about treatment? Is it abhorrent, inhumane or the only way to protect society from dangerous people? Is this too simplistic an argument?
Some more background:
* Louisiana Gov brought in castration law
* South Korea just opened first chemical castration clinic
* Danish political party supporting chemical castration
* Poland PM supports chemical castration as a forced punishment
* Article on why even full castration doesn’t necessarily work