New chemical castration bill raises the same implementation issues

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(PNC photo)

Guam – Four years ago, the former Governor signed the “Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders Act,” but it remained unimplemented without a set of rules and regulations. The introduction of Bill 137-35 renewed discussion on chemical castration but also raised questions regarding its implementation and funding.

Senator James Moylan introduced the measure, which is meant to strengthen the language of the existing statute.

Moylan’s bill has a provision that requires qualified sex offenders about to be released to undergo a hormone or anti-androgen treatment as a condition of their parole or post-prison supervision requirements.

Former Department of Corrections Director Alberto “Tony” Lamorena mentioned the factors that hampered the implementation of the original statute, “They were putting together the rules and procedures when they eventually stopped primarily because of three things. One, there was no funding. It was an unfunded mandate. Secondly, it’s a voluntary program. The individual has to volunteer to be chemically castrated,” he said.

Lamorena added, “And then the third reason was the monitoring. Who is going to fund and who is going to do the monitoring to ensure that the individual is given the medication and taking the medication to be chemically castrated?”

During a roundtable meeting convened by Senator Therese Terlaje on May 6, stakeholders chimed into the chemical castration conversation.

Current DOC Director Samantha Brennan confirmed that the program “never took off.”

“I know they attempted to do it but there was no funding and there was no doctor available on island that could assist with it. So it never took off…In May of last year, a letter was sent to the former director advising him that there was no specialized clinic or no medical professionals to administer the drug, currently. At the time, there was no physician. At this time to date, we’d have to reconfirm that,” Brennan added.

Dr. Juan Rapadas, a clinical psychologist at the Judiciary of Guam, cited literature that showed conflicting results in terms of program success.

“The critics say that if you base behavior on a hormone you’re gonna have big problems because there is so much more to do with criminal sexual behavior than just the hormone,” Rapadas said.

Tune in on Thursday, as we continue to look into the proposed legislation.