The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston decided this week, that an inmate had the right to receive medication for her Opioid addiction.
Brenda Smith, a Maine resident, was arrested for taking $40 from a Walmart change dispenser which was left by another customer. Smith was arrested and convicted of theft. Smith and her attorney requested that she be allowed to continue to take her twice-daily dose of buprenorphine. Smith;s doctor had prescribed the medication as part of her medication-assisted treatment, for her opiate addiction.
Unfortunately, the jail officials denied Smith, the medication, which she had taken for 10 years. During the ten years of using medications for her opioid addiction, she had regained custody of her children, was working steadily, and had secured housing.
The federal court ruled that Smith’s request was reasonable, and held, “the Defendants’ out-of-hand, unjustified denial of the Plaintiff’s request for her prescribed, necessary medication — and the general practice that precipitated that denial — is so unreasonable as to raise an inference that the Defendants denied the Plaintiff’s request because of her disability.”
It is time, to end the inhumane practice of jails and prisons, denying inmates medications, for the treatment of any illness, or health condition,–mental or physical.
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Article by Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com