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Articles

Smoking in Prison

Inside Time Article

Burn Baby Burn

Why smoking bans in prisons always go up in smoke

The July introduction of smoking bans in prisons triggered a prison riot of historical scale and intensity in the Australian state of Victoria. Twelve hours before the ban commenced, outraged prisoners lit fires and caused $10 million worth of damage to prison property. Authorities retaliated with tear gas and firearms in a bid to control the chaos.  Corrections Victoria chief Jan Shuard said that a violent inmate reaction was unexpected.  But did the riot really come as a shock to authorities?

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E-Cig Proposal to NSW Government

We have proposed to the Corrective Services Commissioner, Minister, Shadow Minister and Greens for the use of e-cigarettes as a way to avoid problems of occupational health and safety while also being respectful to non-smoking inmates and staff. We believe that the government has a responsibility to avoid the potential conflict and tensions that may arise in NSW prisons following the ban.

E-cigarettes have been successfully used in UK prisons. These experiences have been outlined in two articles from Inside Time:

http://insidetime.org/up-in-smoke/

http://insidetime.org/the-price-of-electronic-cigarettes/

Justice Action is willing to assist in such an implementation if the government chooses to adopt it. At the moment we are still waiting for a response.

Prisoner's Plea

 

Letter about ban from prisoner

7-6-2015

Dear XXX and the Justice Action Team,

My name is XXX. I’m from XXX Correctional Centre.

I am requesting please, as a smoker and on behalf of other smokers, as there are a lot of other inmates in this jail and other jails as well who smoke, assistance to intervene in the banning of smoking in prisons.

I am asking for extreme help to stop, abolish or cancel Corrective Services pushing and forcing inmates to give up smoking, when most of them or all of them, including me don’t want to quit at all! There are even those employed by Corrective Services who are quitting their jobs or taking redundancies because of the smoking being banned in mid to late August and many of them aren’t happy about it at all.

I was wondering, with your help, if we can take Corrective Services to the ACCC or to Supreme Court or High Court of Australia to stop Corrective Services stopping inmates from smoking in jails. I need your help to stop them for good because if it keeps going, a lot of inmates aren’t going to be really happy at all. Because of it, I believe there will be a lot more fights, stabbings, with inmates going to hospital for really serious injuries to the body and head.

Please can you help us to prevent this and make us all happy again? We want, if possible, get as much legal as we can to help us to take this Action to the Commissioner, or if that doesn’t work, to the Courts.

Thank you all.

Kind Regards,

XXX XXX

P.S. If you can’t do it, could you find someone to take this request on please.

Smoking in Prisons

GIVE ME A SMOKE

No smoking symbol1

Banning smoking in prisons is a deliberate torment of people who have already lost everything. It is the bullying of people who are totally in government control, but it is seen as an easy political statement of being seen to be tough and increasing the punishment of imprisonment.

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