FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 11, 2019
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, firstname.lastname@example.org
OVERLAND PARK, KS - The Kansas and Missouri ACLU affiliates and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons have agreed to a continuance on a hearing scheduled for today to determine whether a newly admitted inmate can receive a drug used to treat opioid use disorder.
A hearing has been set for Friday and a settlement in the case involving Leaman Crews, admitted to the federal prison in Leavenworth last week, could be imminent.
The Kansas and Missouri American Civil Liberties Union affiliates filed a lawsuit last week seeking a federal court order to compel prison officials to treat Crews’ opioid addiction with buprenorphine, a drug banned at Leavenworth.
Doctors have used buprenorphine during the past year to restore Crews’ health and to manage life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, keeping them at bay, the ACLU said.
The ACLU chapters contend in the suit that withholding medication from Crews violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
“Absent an injunction, the BOP’s policy will cause Crews to suffer painful withdrawal and will place him at a high risk of relapse, overdose and death,” the ACLU’s filing said.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.