Cameron Douglas Badly Beaten in Prison

Cameron Douglas, the son of actor Michael Douglas, was badly beaten in prison, after a mobster put out a bounty on him for being a snitch. He suffered a broken femur, among other injuries, and to make matters worse, according to an unnamed source, prison doctors misdiagnosed his the break as a sprain. He then developed a blood clot, and is still on crutches, two months later.

Douglas is incarcerated at the FCi in Loretto, Pennsylvania, a low level security facility. [More...]

I don't know why the Post is blaming Cameron's doctor for "inadvertently disclosing" his cooperation. While that may be true, it happened in 2009 and seems unlikely to be the impetus for a bounty three years later. More like, is the wide reporting that Cameron testified against one of his suppliers in 2011. See this New York Post article.

Also, in December 2011, the Government disclosed that Cameron agreed to cooperate upon his initial arrest in 2009 in a publicly filed sentencing memorandum to the court with respect to his later charge of possessing a controlled substance while in prison. (Docket No. 167, 12/14/11). Cameron's suppliers (only one of whom he testified against) have filed numerous pleadings referring to Cameron's cooperation. It was hardly a secret.

Cameron's cooperation earned him a 5 year sentence, substantially below the 151 to 188 month guideline range and the statutory mandatory minimum sentence ten year term.

His later 54 month consecutive sentence for possession of 1/3 of one gram of suboxone while at the MCC is being appealed. (Suboxone is a drug designed to wean heroin addicts off heroin and had previously been prescribed to Cameron for his addiction). The judge departed upwards from the 18 to 24 month guideline range (which included an obstruction of justice enhancement) and refused to grant him the acceptance of responsibility decrease even though he pleaded guilty within days of the discovery of the substance. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively, for a total of 114 months.

In addition to the court's sentence, BOP has twice imposed its own penalties for the suboxone (once for possession and once for use, based on the same facts) including the loss of 80 days of good time credits and numerous stays in disciplinary segregation. From one of the defense sentencing memorandums:

As a result, he was sanctioned to a 40-day loss of Good Time Credit, four months of Disciplinary Segregation, a one-year loss of family visits and commissary usage, and a two-year loss of all other ("social") visits, as well as a $250 fine. Ex. 2.6

Cameron's second hearing took place on November 16, 2011, and found that Cameron also committed the prohibited act of Code 113, possession of drugs. For that charge, Cameron lost an additional 40 days of Good Time Credit and received an additional seven months of Disciplinary Segregation. The denial of family visitation privileges was extended by another year and social visits were denied for an additional two years.

In addition, his opportunity to participate in RDAP (drug treatment) has been pushed back another 11 months.

One year in solitary confinement, loss of visitation privileges for two years, 54 months and 80 days of additional jail time for an addict who has not received drug treatment since being sentenced in 2010, and who possessed 1/3 of one gram of a drug for personal use, sure seems excessive. And now it turns out the institution failed to keep him safe, he has a broken femur and pins in his leg.

Oral arguments in Cameron's appeal are this Wednesday, Dec. 19. I hope he gets some relief.

Our past coverage of his case is available here.

< Looking for Reasons behind School Shootings | The Voice Tribute to the CT Shooting Victims >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    It's a Damn Shame... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:42:20 AM EST
    ..when the kid of someone I would consider wealthy and connected, can't catch a break.  No snark intended.

    How are us average joe's suppose to survive with little to nothing when people who normally are afforded every opportunity, are having these kinds of problems.

    I (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:10:09 AM EST
    have never understood how inmates can routinely be beaten, raped or even killed in a prison.

    It seems to me that the State deliberately allows this to go on.

    I've read that the guards... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by redwolf on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:10:28 PM EST
    use/enable inmates attacking each other as a form of control.  The step from that to bribing the guards to allow a beating isn't far.  

    Prisons in general should be dissolved and replaced actually effective forms of punishment and treatment.


    I used to be able to reassure clients (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:11:41 AM EST
    and their families that federal prisons were fairly safe at both the "minimum" and "low" security levels. The large percentage of prisoners who have received sentence breaks for "cooperating" ("snitching") seemed to afford greater protection as well. This is not the first incident to make me question that, as to "low" level institutions. Overcrowding is the main culprit, and "low" is the most overcrowded security level. "Minimum" is reserved for those with ten years or less remaining to serve, little or no violence on their records, no record of a sexual offense, and other restrictive criteria, so a significant number of inmates are stuck at "low" with no place down the security ladder to go.  The difference between minimum and low is fairly dramatic, while the difference between low and medium (next higher), not so much.  

    Hearing about overcrowding (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:16:20 AM EST
    In low security facilities is depressing.  Persons of small sins locked up like cattle, my country really depresses me on this issue.