MOBILE, ALA. (WALA)- 16,000 registered sex offenders live in the state of Alabama according to the Alabama law enforcement agency, or ALEA.
There’s no arguing sexual abuse is wrong, but is chemical castration the key to ending it?
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said it's a start, "If you have been convicted in a court of law for sexually abusing someone under the age of 13, then you should be subject to anything possible to prevent you from doing that again to a child."
The law taking effect September 1st in Alabama, legalizes chemical castration for people convicted of sex crimes against a child under the age of 13, if they're granted parole.
So here’s how it will work. Convicted sex offenders who fit this guideline will begin the chemical castration treatment a month before they are released from prison. Once they are released they will be made to continue that treatment by visiting the health department and they will be made to pay for it themselves.
"There are shots that last three months and if they take the shots every three months then it should be effective and it should work. But if they don't do it of course, which most of them probably won't, then they are revoked on their parole and will go back to the penitentiary," Ashley Rich said.
The chemical used is called medroxyprogesterone acetate which reduces testosterone, ultimately bringing down a mans sex drive.
Randall Marshall, Executive Director of the Alabama American Civil Liberties Union said the treatment is cruel, "It's really medical experimentation and it has no basis in the medical community. Those who were convicted are serving a punishment and if the legislature doesn't think that the length of the punishment fits the crime then it can always revisit that but using medical experimentation to no end for a purpose of retribution just does not have a place in our legal system."
Currently, eight states allow the procedure. Florida is one. FOX10 News Investigates reached out to the department of corrections to see how often it's used in the sunshine state. FOX10 News Investigates was told since the law began in 1997, only two people have been given chemical castration prior to release.
Marshall said, "The only cases I saw it was ordered got reversed on appeal."
As in other states, Marshall says the ACLU will likely fight chemical castration in Alabama.