24 September 2013

Michael Douglas blasts the US penal system at the Emmys. He's exactly right

Michael Douglas blasts the US penal system at the Emmys. He's exactly right

Michael Douglas caused a few ripples on Sunday night when he picked up an Emmy award for his performance as Liberace in the film, Behind the Candelabra. Aside from gently ribbing his co-star Matt Damon and thanking his estranged wife Catherine Zeta Jones, Douglas gave a shout out to his eldest son, Cameron, who is in currently being held in solitary confinement in a federal penitentiary.

"I'm hoping I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon," Douglas told the audience before explaining to reporters backstage that he has begun to question the system that is preventing him from even visiting his incarcerated son. You can hardly blame the veteran actor for his disenchantment with America's penal system as his son's case pretty much epitomizes the futility of sending a person who is addicted to drugs into a bleak and lonely institution where drugs are readily available and treatment is not.

In 2010, Cameron Douglas was sentenced to five years in prison for small time drug dealing and possession for personal use. At the time of his sentencing, Douglas had a five time a day heroin habit. Strangely enough, however, the addiction that plunged his life into chaos and then landed him in prison did not magically cure itself once he was incarcerated. A little over a year later, after falling foul to his addiction, Douglas was back before a judge who added an additional 4.5 years to his sentence – the harshest ever imposed on an inmate for taking drugs in prison, according to his lawyer.

Read the full story at The Guardian

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