Paedophiles to be offered form of chemical castration

UK Telegraph 26 Aug 2008

The initiative has been backed by the Government after research showed that the use of drugs can reduce the risk of further offending. Similar schemes have already been set up in Sweden, Denmark, Canada and eight states in the United States and reported to have proved successful. The programme involves jailed sex offenders volunteering to take medication to reduce their testosterone levels to those of pre-pubescent boys. The result if 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 coordinate the treatment nationally. He is running an advisory to identify those who would benefit from anti-libidinal medication, which includes Prozac and cancer drugs. Prof Grubin said the treatment would only be available at the end of an offender’s jail sentence and not as an alternative to prison. He said: “These are not individuals who are going to be released because of this treatment. They are offenders who have served their time. “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?”

Evidence from Scandinavia suggests rates of reoffending have been cut to five per cent from more than 40 per cent.