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Appeals court denies Maine jail’s request to not provide Suboxone to inmate

A federal appeals court in Boston has denied an emergency request to stop the Aroostook County Jail from being forced to provide an inmate with medication she said is needed to keep her opioid addiction in remission.

The Aroostook County Jail appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a judge in Maine granted a preliminary injunction requiring the jail to provide physician-prescribed medication to Brenda Smith. The appeals court denied the jail’s motion Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine said the denial means the jail will be required to provide medication, sold under the brand name Suboxone, when Smith reports for her sentence May 1.

Attorney Peter Marchesi, who represents the jail, said it’s unclear whether the court will schedule arguments before the date Smith reports to jail.

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