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Chemical castration

Team Report #1
Sterilization (Chemical castration)

Textbook: Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T. & Ball, R. A. (2011). Criminological theory: Context and consequences (5th Ed.). Washington D.C: Sage Publications [ISBN:978-1-4129-8145-3]

In Chapter 2 of Criminological theory: Context and consequences, the authors reviewed the historical events, or social context, of the early Positivist theories, which included punishments such as life incarceration, death penalty, and sterilization. They noted that the practice of sterilization seemed to fade by the 1970's, yet has found renewed support by some states as a way to deal with sex offenders.
discuss/answer the following:

- Does your state (Illinois or neighboring state/s) have laws concerning chemical castration? What are they?
- Is this a good way for us to deal with sex offenders? Why?
- What theoretical paradigm that we have covered so far has a better answer to addressing sexual offender issues?

Solution Preview

Chemical castration is not really 'castration' in the literal sense. It is also not sterilization, at least not most of the time. It is the use of drugs to lower the sex drives of sex offenders. It is used in only a few states: California, Wisconsin, Texas, Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida.
See this source:

There were many forced sterilization cases, such as in Virginia, from the 20s to the 70s.

This method of dealing with such criminals comes straight out of the Positivist school. The hallmark of this school is the belief that the human person is determined by chemical and biological laws like any other organism in nature. If there is some 'wiring' problem where a person has criminal sexual fantasies and urges to act on them, then rehabilitation outside of chemical means is probably out of the question (Lilly and Cullen, 24).

This brand of positivism holds that the free will is an illusion, and therefore there is some chemical reason for deviant behavior.

Of course, one need not be a positivist to hold that sexual offenders have chemical or biological determinants of their crime. ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines chemical castration and sterilization. Criminological theory for the context and consequences are analyzed.