Louisiana Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Surgical Castration for Convicted Child Sex Offenders


Both chambers of the Louisiana legislature approved a bill Monday that would permit those convicted of sex crimes against children to undergo surgical castration.

The new law would enable judges to sentence offenders of particular sex crimes to surgical castration in addition to prison time. Applicable offenses include rape, incest, and molestation of those aged 13 and under.

“This is a consequence,” remarked state Sen. Valarie Hodges, a Republican. “It’s a step over and beyond just going to jail and getting out.”

Since 2008, Louisiana has allowed judges to order those found guilty of sex crimes against children to undergo chemical castration, although it is seldom imposed on offenders. Chemical castration entails taking specific medications that inhibit the production of sex hormones such as testosterone.

Other states, such as California, Florida, and Texas, have laws permitting chemical castration. Surgical castration represents a shift towards a more invasive procedure.

“We are talking about babies who are being violated by somebody. That is inexcusable,” stated Democratic state Sen. Regina Barrow.

Barrow expressed hope that the legislation would deter future offenders, also noting that while the procedure is typically applied to men, the law could be enforced on women as well.

While the bill does not make the procedure automatic upon conviction of these crimes, if an individual is ordered to undergo surgical castration and “fails to appear or refuses to undergo,” they could face a “failure to comply” charge, carrying an additional three to five years in prison.

Some opponents argue that the bill could be deemed “cruel and unusual punishment,” violating the Eighth Amendment. Some also contend that the punishment may be overly harsh for individuals convicted of a single offense.

“For me, when I think about a child, one time is too many,” Barrow stated.

In Louisiana, 2,224 people are incarcerated for sex crimes against children younger than 13. If the law is enacted, surgical castration could only be applied to offenders if the crime was committed on or after Aug. 1, 2024.

The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Jeff Landry (R-LA), who will either veto the legislation or sign it into law.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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