Michael Douglas' Son Cameron Released From Prison, Enters Halfway House

By McCarton Ackerman 08/02/16

Cameron Douglas struggled to keep a low profile in prison and was sent to solitary confinement after suffering a relapse in January 2013.

Michael Douglas' Son Cameron Released From Prison, Enters Halfway House
Michael and Cameron back in 2009

After spending seven years behind bars on drug charges, the son of actor Michael Douglas has finally been released from federal prison. 

Cameron Douglas, 37, is now living at a halfway house in Brooklyn, though he wasn’t scheduled to be released until 2018. Douglas was initially sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 for possession of heroin and selling methamphetamine. In December 2011, he had an additional four-and-a-half years added to his sentence for his repeated attempts at getting drugs while behind bars.

Douglas struggled to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble while in prison. In December 2012, he reportedly had his leg and finger broken after a NYC mobster put a $100 bounty on him for ratting out his drug suppliers. Cameron told prison officials the injuries were from a game of handball. A relapse in January 2013 landed him in solitary confinement, where he spent nearly two years of his sentence, according to USA Today.

Although his father called the original sentence “adequate” in a 2010 interview with the Associated Press, Michael has since expressed frustration with the years added on to Cameron’s sentence and his time spent in solitary confinement.

“I’m not defending Cameron as a drug dealer or drug addict, but I believe, because of his last name, he’s been made an example,” said Michael to New York magazine in 2013. He also told AARP magazine in January that “I see him twice a month now because he's incarcerated closer to our home. He’s a drug addict, but he’s done more than his fair share of time for it.”

Addiction experts slammed the unusually long sentence for his crimes. The Fix contributor Maia Szalavitz wrote in May 2012 that “punishing Douglas for using opiates in prison, while denying him treatment, is tantamount to punishing a diabetic for insulin possession. Typically, prisoners caught with drugs are punished with loss of privileges like visits and phone calls, not a doubling of their initial sentence." 

Cameron has not commented since being released from prison, but has spoken out about his sentence while behind bars. In a June 2013 editorial for Huffington Post, he called the criminal justice system “outdated” when it came to views on addiction. He also lamented that he "made mistakes and I'll gladly and openly admit my faults. However, I seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle of relapse and repeat, as most addicts are."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.