Toughen laws for sex offenders, lawmaker says
January 7, 2010
DOVER —- When state Rep. John C. Atkins looks at national sex offender registries, he doesn’t focus just on Delaware.
Thousands more potential repeat offenders live a few hours and a tank of gas away from his legislative district, the Millsboro Democrat said.
Add to that two recent high profile cases: the allegations that Dr. Earl Bradley may have molested up to 100 patients in a 10-year period at his Lewes pediatric office and the abduction, assault and murder of a Salisbury girl whose body was discovered near the Delaware state line on Christmas Day.
Atkins is considering legislation to strength sex offender laws in Delaware, including one proposal to allow chemical castration of chronic sex offenders.
“These stories are very tragic, and as a state representative, I want to ensure that all children in Delaware are safe from sex offenders,” Atkins said. “Ultimately, I would like Delaware to be the toughest state in the nation on high-risk, repeat sex offenders.”
His proposals aren’t unprecedented. Six other states have laws that allow chemical castration of chronic sex offenders. Texas law allows for surgical castration in some instances, according to data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In Delaware, some convicted offenders have entered programs in which they are treated with medroxy progesterone acetate —- popularly called Depo-Provera. The drug is supposed to reduce both sex drive and sexual fantasies in men who take it. It is the drug that states such as California use for chemical castration.
The moves by states to crack down on chronic sex offenders comes amid a decrease in crimes against children, according to the Crimes Against Children Research Center. Between 1990 and 2007, substantiated cases of child abuse declined by 53 percent, according to center data.
There are state and federal registries of sex offenders, and local reporting requirements when an offender moves into most neighborhoods.
So far, Atkins said, he has had overwhelming support for the proposals from residents in his district.
Comment from Leslie
Why you are asking am I posting an article about sex offenders? Read again.. Did you note this time that they want to chemically castrate them with medroxy progesterone acetate —- popularly called Depo-Provera – an injectable birth control – hormone supressant that has been used on women for years. Anybody ever hear about this being called “chemical castration for women?”