Thursday June 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES -- Michael Douglas’ son is speaking out from behind bars, calling for treatment rather than jail time for nonviolent drug offenders.

Cameron Douglas says in an essay published by the Huffington Post that United States laws impose tougher penalties on addicts than on violent criminals. The 34-year-old is serving a 91Ž2-year prison sentence after various drug violations.

Douglas was first convicted in 2010 of selling methamphetamine, and a judge nearly doubled that sentence after he was found guilty of repeatedly breaking prison rules by arranging to get drugs.

An actor who starred with his famous father and grandfather in 2003’s "It Runs In the Family," Douglas writes that he "seem(s) to be trapped in a vicious cycle of relapse and repeat, as most addicts are" and that a long prison sentence without adequate treatment "does absolutely nothing but temporarily deter (addicts) from succumbing to their weakness."

"Instead of focusing on how many individuals this county can keep imprisoned, why can we not focus on how many individuals we can keep from coming back?" he writes.

Douglas says that he’s not trying to avoid punishment, but after deeply examining his condition, he wants to "stimulate some thought on the topic."

Douglas is scheduled for release in early 2018.