By Julia Zorthian
September 4, 2015

Guam legislators passed a bill in an 8-7 vote on Thursday to begin chemically castrating sex offenders before their release on parole.

The “Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders Act” would establish a four-year pilot program that would allow authorities to require anti-androgen treatment, which lowers the patient’s sex drive, as a condition of parole for qualifying inmates, USA Today reports. The former inmates would also be responsible for the cost of the treatment while they are on parole.

“It’s an important message; it’s a message that we as a body will not support this type of crime any more. It’s a stern, loud-and-clear message to any offenders out there that there’s going to be consequences,” said Sen. Brant McCreadie, who introduced the bill. Guam has a particularly high prevalence of sexual violence — in 2013, the territory had a rate of 64.2 rapes reported per 100,000 people, while the U.S. national average was 25.2.

At least nine U.S. states including California and Florida have tried chemical castration as an option for sexual offenders, with varying procedures for when and how to allow the treatment.

The bill will now appear before Governor Eddie Calvo for his signature.

[USA Today]

Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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