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Criminal Justice System

Addiction Doctors Protest Cameron Douglas’ 54 Month Drug Possession Jail Term Extension

posted 01:07 PM EST, Mon May 21, 2012

Addiction doctors say that it’s not fair to imprison people for the actions of addiction, not provide adequate addiction treatment and then continue to penalize for drug use and possession.

In December, Cameron Douglas had an addition 54 months tacked onto his 5 year drug trafficking prison sentence after guards found heroin and Suboxone in his federal prison cell.

A group of more than 20 addiction doctors say that just isn’t right, and they’ve filed a protest brief in federal court to put a spotlight on the addiction treatment needs of inmates in the criminal justice system and to question the sensibility of lengthening jail terms for the actions of untreated addiction.

Commenting on the group’s motivation to take action, Dr. Robert Newman, director of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center, wrote, “My outrage is as a physician for someone who has a medical condition which has been ignored. What the judge has imposed has zero benefits for the community and has staggering consequences for society.”

The doctors’ group would like to see a reduction or dismissal of the additional jail time in this particular case but they also hope to influence future policy by calling for the appellate court judges to make a statement on the addiction treatment needs of inmates in the correctional system.

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Story Highlights
  • Addiction Treatment for Inmates: Addiction doctors say it's unfair to punish addicts for using behind bars after denying them adequate treatment
  • Cameron Douglas: Doctors have filed a federal court brief to protest his 54 month sentence extension for drug possession behind bars.
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