Published January 26, 2011
RICHMOND, Va. -- A Virginia legislator is proposing castrating sex offenders as an alternative to the increasing costs to detain and treat them after they've served their prison sentences.
Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger's bill would require the state to study the use of physical castration as an alternative to civil commitment for sexually violent predators. A similar proposal was vetoed four years ago.
The civil commitment program's budget grew from $2.7 million in 2004 to $24 million this year. Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed spending nearly $70 million over the next two years to meet the increasing demands.
Hanger's bill also would require study of the crimes that qualify for commitment, the process and housing options for those who leave the program.