Social Question

pluckyrabbit's avatar

Should felons convicted of sexual offenses be given mandatory permanent sterilization?

Asked by pluckyrabbit (116points) 2 weeks ago

Many states insist sexual predators receive chemical castration, which is only a temporary condition. Once released, many return to their previous hormone driven madness to commit further sexual offences.

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17 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not just hormones. It’s mental illness.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think for certain offenses against children it should be an option. It would be something like:

A. Serve 10 years, have surgery and be monitored for life, or
B. Life in prison without parole.

The convict could decide. Also, would this apply to women as well?

KNOWITALL's avatar

This is a very difficult one for me personally, though I have no sympathy for predators.

Most countries tend to reserve this for predators of minors only. And should be combined with psychotherapy.
Everything I’ve read said it’s cost-prohibitive, almost $5,000, per offender, a year in the US. And a violation of the felon’s human rights, as they generally don’t consent, and there can be significant side effects.

Therefore, chemical castration is associated with various side effects, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and impaired glucose and lipid metabolism (11). Depression, hot flashes, infertility, and anemia can also occur. Given that the minimal duration of treatment is 3 to 5 yr for severe paraphilia when a high risk of sexual violence exists (10), the side effects of chemical castration can increase in a time-dependent manner.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565125/

zenvelo's avatar

Well this: hormone driven madness is inaccurate.

The problem with this question is that one cannot easily defend a sexual predator, but the principles involved are considered grossly unjust and unconstitutional in other crimes.

What you are proposing is an irreversible life sentence. And there have been enough instance’s of wrongful convictions to make this fraught with error.

We consider it unjust to cut off the hand of a repeat thief. And would a woman sexual predator be required to have a hysterectomy and vaginal closure?

SavoirFaire's avatar

(1) Sterilization prevents people from reproducing. It does prevent them from sexually assaulting people.

(2) Chemical castration does not sterilize. It decreases, and in some cases eliminates, the recipient’s libido.

(3) Not all predatory behavior is driven by hormones (though some of it is). People who are reenacting personal trauma will not necessarily be stopped by chemical castration in the absence of therapy.

(4) A criminal justice system that focuses on retribution and deals in irreversible punishments is a criminal justice system that has given up on the human being. A criminal justice system that focuses on rehabilitation and deals in eliminating the source of the original problem has no need for irreversible punishments. I’d rather get a whole human being at the end of the process instead of a person we decided to throw away because we didn’t know how to fix them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SavoirFaire I tend to agree. I asked an offender once about it and he said well unless you cut off all my appendages, I’d still find a way. True story.

rockfan's avatar

No that would be wildly unconstitutional and authoritarian

kritiper's avatar

You might just as well kill them.

pluckyrabbit's avatar

That’s all well and good, but all this mamby pamby human rights and violating constitutional claptrap? Wah. Big alligator tears..

If you have violated humanity by your direct act and/or actions, then you have just forfeited all and any of your own human rights. There is no redemption, rehabilitation, restitution, resolution.

It’s Humpty Dumpty. Can’t be fixed.. That egg is broke…for ever.
And there you are..worried about a criminal who failed his/her/its own human rights in upholding the health, safety and human rights of others..

The american justice system is a ridiculous joke. How can it possibly provide justice after the fact? Superglue?

Especially when “THE COURT”, made up of highly trained University Law Graduates and State Certified Professionals vs “THE JURY”, a mismash of unwashed sheep citizens, who are lead to conclusions by cunning acts of law, inadmissable facts and deceitful prosecutors ramping up conviction rates, while building his credits for Mayor..

…those precious few innocent caught up in the fray? What is that saying..something about the guilt of the many outweight the innocence of the few? Oh well…

thanks all for sharing..

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sterilization won’t cure anything. That’s all anyone is saying.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Questions like this – meant to shock – have no purpose other than giving the asker a grotesque pleasure.

I had soup for dinner with a piece of toast dripping with butter. That’s a far more edifying topic of conversation.

What was the last thing you ate?

zenvelo's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I had home made chicken curry with sweet potatoes and bok choy over basmati rice for dinner.

raum's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake We had steak, and mashed potatoes. With roasted carrots and broccoli. I like how the carrots caramelized a bit in the oven.

We just started growing some carrots. I bet it’s going to be even tastier when we grow them ourselves.

gorillapaws's avatar

@SavoirFaire ” A criminal justice system that focuses on retribution and deals in irreversible punishments is a criminal justice system that has given up on the human being.”

While I very much agree with your points broadly—particularly about the role of the justice system. It is my understanding that surgical castration is very effective in reducing recividism of offenders who commit sexual offenses against children, and that conventional rehabilitation techniques (that are otherwise effective for reducing recidivism with other crimes) are notably ineffective against these types of offenders.

If true, I would argue that releasing such people back into society with such a high chance of them harming more children is not appropriate. Opt-in surgical castration as a condition for parole therefore is a potential tool for allowing these people to return to society. I wouldn’t really view this as retribution, but as the only practical mechanism for rehabilitation.

Sexual crimes against children are particularly grotesque, and if there were other mechanisms for releasing these offenders into the public with a very low chance of recidivism, then I would certainly prefer that to permanently altering someone’s body. It’s my understanding that no such alternative exists. It’s also possible that my knowledge of this topic is inaccurate or outdated.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@pluckyrabbit “If you have violated humanity by your direct act and/or actions, then you have just forfeited all and any of your own human rights.”

The whole point of human rights is that they cannot be forfeited. You have them in virtue of being human. So even if we can justify temporarily restricting them in certain cases, we cannot justify removing them entirely.

“It’s Humpty Dumpty. Can’t be fixed.. That egg is broke…for ever.”

Except that we know this isn’t true, so you’re entire argument is based on a false premise.

“And there you are..worried about a criminal who failed his/her/its own human rights in upholding the health, safety and human rights of others.”

Fun fact: you can respect all of the human beings involved, including the criminal. Again, I would prefer that everyone be made better off rather than permanently punishing one person for the temporary relief of another.

“The American justice system is a ridiculous joke.”

Cool story, but who said anything about the American justice system? I hope you realize that it’s not the only possible way of addressing criminality.

“What is that saying..something about the guilt of the many outweigh the innocence of the few?”

That is not a saying. You seem to be conflating “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” (from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) and “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” (known as “Blackstone’s ratio”) while getting both wrong.

@gorillapaws “It is my understanding that surgical castration is very effective in reducing recividism of offenders who commit sexual offenses against children,”

So is shooting them in the head. Reducing recidivism cannot be our only measure of what sorts of punishment are appropriate.

“and that conventional rehabilitation techniques (that are otherwise effective for reducing recidivism with other crimes) are notably ineffective against these types of offenders”

Conventional rehabilitation techniques aren’t effective on their own, but (1) conventional rehabilitation techniques aren’t the only possibility, and (2) combined therapies (reversible chemical castration plus therapy, rather than irreversible surgical castration) have a higher success rate.

gorillapaws's avatar

@SavoirFaire ”...combined therapies (reversible chemical castration plus therapy, rather than irreversible surgical castration) have a higher success rate.”

I guess I’d have to see the data to make an informed opinion. Safeguarding children is a very important factor to consider. If one approaches the question using Rawls’ veil of ignorance, not knowing if you’d be born a pedophile willing to molest children (as opposed to satisfying your sexual needs without assaulting others), or the victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a reoffender, I think surgical castration as an alternative to life inprisonment might be reasonable approach, but if alternatives are as effective (or nearly-so), then that would certainly be the preferable course.

pluckyrabbit's avatar

…hmmm..maybe I should just ask a victim.. perhaps, they too would be concerned about inadvertently hurting the feelings or impinging the rights of their attacker.
yeah,

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