Sunday night, Michael Douglas won an Emmy for playing Liberace in the HBO TV-movie “Behind the Candelabra,” but it was a bittersweet victory for the actor.
During his acceptance speech, Douglas said, “Shout out to my oldest son, Cameron and hoping that I’ll be able and they’ll allow me to see him soon.”
Cameron Douglas is currently locked up in a solitary confinement cell because he failed a drug test in prison, noted the The Huffington Post in January.
Cameron was originally sentenced for five years for possession and selling drugs, but got the extra four and a half years for smuggling drugs into jail. He was not accused or convicted of any violent crimes.
“If you happen to have a slip ... they punish you,” Michael Douglas told reporters backstage at the Emmy awards on Sunday night. “Right now I’m being told I cannot see him for two years. It’s been over a year now, and I’m questioning the system. Obviously, at first I was disappointed with my son, but I’ve reached a point now where I’m very disappointed with the system.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Douglas stated that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is working on a new policy “regarding nonviolent drug addicts” and reminded reporters that “the U.S. represents 5 percent of the world’s population, and now we have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.”
A shocking report by the ACLU on solitary confinement states:
Solitary or “supermax” confinement is the practice of placing a prisoner alone in a cell for 22‐24 hours a day with little human contact or interaction; reduced or no natural light; restriction or denial of reading material, television, radios and other property; severe limits on visitation; and the inability to participate in group activities. Almost all human contact occurs while the prisoner is in restraints and behind some sort of barrier.
There is a popular misconception that solitary is used only for the most violent and dangerous prisoners ... The majority of individuals housed in isolated confinement are severely mentally ill or cognitively disabled. Low‐risk “nuisance prisoners” are also housed in solitary because they have broken minor rules or filed grievances or lawsuits. Children held in adult prisons are also held in solitary “for their own safety.”
The New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he wants to reform the prison system. “By reserving the most severe prison terms for serious, high-level, or violent drug traffickers or kingpins,” he states, “we can better enhance public safety.”