France to test 'chemical castration'on sex offenders

9th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 9 (AFP) - France is to test so-called "chemical castration" to try to control the growing number of sex offenders, Justice Minister Dominique Perben said Tuesday.

PARIS, Nov 9 (AFP) - France is to test so-called "chemical castration" to try to control the growing number of sex offenders, Justice Minister Dominique Perben said Tuesday.

Forty-eight volunteers will be treated for a two-year trial period starting next year with two drugs - cyproterone and leuropreline - designed to reduce male hormone levels, he told Le Parisien newspaper.

"If it proves effective and the patients do not relapse, then we will have made major progress," the minister said.

"Patients will be protected from the risk of re-imprisonment and can reintegrate more easily in society. And society will also be better protected, with fewer child victims," he said.

"The objective is to obtain an authorisation to put these products on the market," he said.

France has seen a big increase in the number of repeat sex offenders in recent years. This year there are 8,200 sex offenders in prison - or 22 percent of the jail population - compared to 1,100 or five percent in 1980.

Three-quarters of those currently in jail committed their offences against minors, Perben said.

The volunteers will be chosen among offenders who have served their prison term, because the law bans medical research on detainees. Perben also said the trial would only be relevant if the volunteers faced sexual temptations not available inside prison.

Chemical treatment of sex offenders already exists in Germany, Denmark and Sweden as well as the US states of California and Texas.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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