No smoking prisons

December 30th, 2009 at 3:43 pm by David Farrar

This sounds promising from the Telegraph:

A noticeable drop in recorded crimes on the Isle of Man is being attributed to the opening of Europe’s only completely no smoking prison.

The island which is one of the safest places to live in the British Isles, has seen a massive reduction in total crimes since the new £42m jail opened in August 2008.

In the nine month period from April 2008 to December 15 2008 the total recorded crimes stood at 2,508.

But in the same period this year crimes dropped off 14 per cent, with a total of 2,157 crimes committed.
The prison is Europe’s one and only completely non-smoking prison – with smoking not even allowed in the prison exercise yard.

Even prison guards are banned from smoking anywhere on the premises and have to go into a nearby car park to light up.

Prisoners are told they have no choice but to give up and are given free nicotine patches and counselling sessions to help them beat their cravings.

“It’s a standing joke now that when we nick someone we remind them that if they get sent down they’ll have to come off the cigarettes – their faces are a picture,” said a police source.

“It’s like they are more scared about giving up smoking than a criminal record and some time in the nick.”

So how about it Judith – trial a non smoking prison and see the results.

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36 Responses to “No smoking prisons”

  1. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    The ‘results’ would be riots, anarchy, assaults and absconding on a hitherto unknown scale.

    I would also suspect about half of prison officers would resign immediately – on Day 1 – rather than work in an environment where 500 people suffering nicotine withdrawals are about to get rather bolshie all at the same time…

    As brain damaged ideas go this must take 1st place.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

    [DPF: Are you stupid or just pretending? This is a prison. Who gives a fuck if they get bolshie for a few weeks, if it means there are fewer crimes. For someone who is all about property rights, you don't seem inclined to do much about protecting them.

    Plus one can introduce such a policy gradually. Only you seem to think it would mean cut off all smoking on one day.]

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  2. redqueen (563 comments) says:

    I love this idea, but wouldn’t it be considered ‘cruel and unusual punishment’?

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  3. andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    So how about it Judith – trial a non smoking prison and see the results.

    You know what the results would be – similar to what happens in California where they have tobacco free prisons.

    Tobacco will be just another contraband item to be smuggled in.

    It might work on the Isle of Man which is hardly a hotbed of criminality and where the vast majority of prisoners are in there for relatively minor offenses and short terms – it would never work where there is a concentration of hard core offenders – probably lead to more problems if the truth be known.

    Be realistic

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  4. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    It is strange the Prisoners have more rights than everyone else when it comes to smoking inside.

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  5. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Question to Crusher Collins: how come over half of the prisoners in the child abuse treatment unit at camp rolly were found to have drugs(not fags) with them in the cells? Smoke that fact big blouse and co…

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  6. francis (712 comments) says:

    here are some interesting findings on smoking in American prisons – not anything about the effect of smoking bans on crime rates, but a good overview of the arguments for smoking bans (whole and partial) in prisons and the history of tobacco in prison culture. http://miller-mccune.com/health/Smokers-Behind-Bars-Can-Quit-Too-849

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  7. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. Prisoners aren’t supposed to have any other drugs including alcohol.

    There must be safety issues if prisoners have fire lighting capability.

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  8. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Andrei is exactly right.

    The Minister of Corrections banned smoking in prisons in Western Australia earlier this year. It was the Prison Officers’ Union (amongst others) that pointed out that people withdrawing from nicotine were prone to bad tempers and bad tempers sometimes lead to violence.

    So there are now “smoking huts” where prisoners can stand and inhale not only their own carcinogens but also other people’s. Staff have to use them too. So much for the “we’re doing it for their health” excuse.

    Tobacco can still be bought at the canteen but lighters and matches are now banned (cigarettes are lit by lighters attached to huge steel chain and metal box contraptions in the smoking huts).

    So lighters are now the new contraband. And prisoners are risking their lives, and those of other prisoners and staff, by mangling electrical outlets to try and generate heat or a spark to light a cigarette in their cells at night.

    Simple things like steel wool pot cleaners have had to be banned because people were putting them across battery terminals to heat them up. And a raft of other things – not “privileges” but essential everyday items – are being added to the banned list, as there’s no end to a nictotine addict’s ingenuity.

    Tensions are noticeably higher, and staff are forced to police a rule which has absolutely no disciplinary value (unlike, say, searching for other contraband like weapons or drugs).

    To those who ask why prisoners should have such a “privlege” I have two questions:

    1. Prisoners buy the tobacco with the money they earn from working. The taxpayer doesn’t supply it. So why should you care if people whom you clearly despise are harming their health?

    2. Why should prison staff be placed in an environment of increased risk for no good reason other than (supposedly) the health of prisoners?

    Meanwhile, whilst crowing about his “success” in creating this mess, the Minister has allowed a situation to develop where, for instance, a female staff member is left alone in charge of 150 male prisoners, including one who has repeatedly threatened to rape and kill her.

    Prisoners are sent to prison as a punishment, not to be punished. Rather than dreaming up new ways to make prisons unpleasant for prisoners (and thus for staff also) to fulfil their sadistic streaks, Ministers of Corrections would be better advised to expend their efforts and their budgets on properly resourcing prisons so staff are not spread too thinly, overworked, and unnecessarily exposed to danger.

    But then of course that’s just doing the job we pay them to do, and which the officers – who put their personal safety on the line to keep us sfae – have a right to expect.

    It doesn’t play well in the newspapers, or with the “hang ‘em all” mob, unlike a smoking ban, which you can bet “Crusher” will be onto like a dog on roadkill.

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  9. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in the REAL WORLD petey georgie the prisoners enjoy up in smoke utopia. Another kg goes thru the gate!!

    Rex – big blouse is Crusher’s pathetic poodle.

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  10. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    It doesn’t mean they should though d4j. Or are you suggesting that rules that are flouted shouldn’t be in place?

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  11. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Are there rules in place petey? You could have fooled me matey!

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  12. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    I can’t believe people have swallowed this. How can you think that the lack of smoking inside a prison is going to affect the crime rate outside it? It makes no sense!

    The crime rate has dropped on the Isle because there is a prison there. Crims get nervous about committing crimes within sight of a prison. The smoking is irrelevant.

    Non-smoking prisons may be a good idea, but expecting this to cut the crime rate on the outside is nuts.

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  13. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Pete George

    Would you also ban coffee and tea ?

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  14. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    The absence of tobacco smoke would also make it almost impossible to get away with smoking dac on the inside. I suspect this is a bigger factor in any improvement of prison behaviour rather than the actual removal of tobacco.

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  15. Southern Raider (1,830 comments) says:

    One of the quickest ways to reduce crime is not stopping smoking, but
    – no bail
    – no youth justice system

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  16. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Would you also ban coffee and tea ?

    I wouldn’t have a problem with that (I don’t drunk either but don’t expect to be in prison so it shouldn’t affect me). But I don’t think they have the potential risks that smoking has either.

    How many luxuries should prisoners be allowed? Cutting back on them might reduce the lifestylers (if there are any who see being inside as a lifestyle choice). And it might deter a few others.

    Some people might prefer reducing life expectancy and provide unlimited cigarettes, but that is a slow inefficient way to do it.

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  17. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Many prisoners look at a cell as a lifestyle choice silly petey fairy brain georgie. Are you a big blouse ugly sister?

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  18. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    Strange world. A smoking ban in restaurants and bars will purportedly have zero effects on clients, but a smoking ban in prisons will keep all the customers away. Odd how that works.

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  19. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Some ideas:

    1) Don’t have female guards in male prisons (and vise versa). It’s stupid.

    2) Only allow loose tobacco (roll ups). Don’t want them protecting their health with filter tips

    3) Ban smoking every other month, so the real losers have to go through withdrawal every 4 weeks.

    2 and 3 a bit tongue in cheek. 1 not.

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  20. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Silly Crusher said to big blouse, continue with the methadone and hubber rubber for the fags but stop the cigs in the prison.

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  21. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    But access to tobacco is a human right! A right specifically accorded to certain categories of prisoner in international law:

    ref: Third Geneva convention, articles 26 and 28; Fourth Geneva convention, articles 87, 89 and 98 (which includes the right to be given money with which to buy it)

    =)

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  22. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Oh please graeme, don’t talk human rights when we have sentenced prisoners that are celled up in police holding cells. Wally crap show is overflowing again big blouse crusher type people.
    Roll up a braincell cig.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    d4j – it was obvious (or at least ought to have been obvious) that my comment was intended to be taken with humour.

    That said, there was also the added dimension to use this to note how perceptions of rights have changed over time.

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  24. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    “Simple things like steel wool pot cleaners have had to be banned because people were putting them across battery terminals to heat them up.”

    Yes but…

    Rex, what does the term “punishment” mean?

    Fuck em.

    That’s an attitude we haven’t had for a very long time. You’re an intelligent man. Why the fuck is society not entitled to remove all privileges from these complete and utter wankers who are there because they hurt others with malice and aforethought.

    We don’t have to be Dickensian about it but we’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

    Those guys should do hard time. This should be part of it.

    For several generations we’ve tried the namby-pamby compromise and it hasn’t worked. Stopping them from enjoying their tobacco addiction is hardly Dickensian.

    Where does the soft time stop and the hard time start?

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  25. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    I don’t understand. The suggestion seems to be that these people’s behaviour can be altered by things external to them. Isn’t this clearly a case of a bunch of people exercising their free will to not commit crimes, just coincidentally following a new prison policy?

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  26. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Graeme, I did notice the black humour in your comment, anyway,does any other country in the world pay thousands of taxpayer dollars to sentenced murders for hurt feelings experienced as a celled criminal? Or should I ask the tranny granny from the HRRT?

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  27. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    Rex, I’m undecided about the actual issue at hand but your comment raises a question:

    1. Prisoners buy the tobacco with the money they earn from working. The taxpayer doesn’t supply it. So why should you care if people whom you clearly despise are harming their health?

    Surely, if the prisoner buys tobacco from their money, can they also not pay the room and board funded by tax payers? Where do they get this money? From the outside, in exchange for labour or do they draw the dole? (Excuse my ignorance, I’m unclear to where the money comes from for “luxuries” given the food and board is paid for.)

    Also, prison doesn’t seem to scare repeat offenders, but losing cigarettes does. If the consequences of their actions hit home in this way, then maybe there is a tool to help rehabilitate them, or at least make them want to stay on the straight and smokey narrow when they get out? Surely, if they are violent in response then they are breaking the law and need to be punished. When will they get the idea that there are consequences to losing control and responding with violence if there are no consequences?

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  28. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Is it just me or did anybody else not miss D4J?

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  29. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    Hi gutless big blouse. When you were Insolent Prick at least you had tiny balls. What a crackpot coward. Do you live in fish tank with a jellyfish?

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  30. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    “Isn’t this clearly a case of a bunch of people exercising their free will to not commit crimes, just coincidentally following a new prison policy?”

    Very witty re: a previous thread Ryan.

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  31. Steve (4,563 comments) says:

    Yeah I missed D4J. He raves but brings up important things. Soft cocks just go on about criminals being allowed to smoke.
    Criminals must be under a lot of stress, so need to smoke.
    Who pays for the baccy?
    Fuck them, they get nothing. All rights were lost the moment the crime was commited.

    D4J you can continue but watch the demerits ok

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  32. godruelf (55 comments) says:

    New plan. How bout we we just ban the “Low Tar” cigarettes. Encourage smoking inside. The less time we will have to put up with the Crims. Also if their lungs are stuffed its harder to run from Plod.

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  33. Steve (4,563 comments) says:

    godruelf,

    You do not know that Crims have more rights than taxpayers?
    Imagine the Lawsuits if Crims suffered more from smoking than the law abiding taxpayer did

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  34. noodle (151 comments) says:

    Why also punish prison guards by having them resort to going off the premises for a legal smoke? Prison management with offices will always have a fag onsite if they want one. Bad idea to piss off the lowly staff etc.

    I wonder when some bright spark will suggest that police interrogation rooms become smoke-free? I’d love to hear an experienced cop’s view on this.

    I don’t like criminals but, generally, I dislike health obersturmfuhrer types even more. They attempt to make everybody, guilty or innocent, as miserable as sin.

    Work prisoners harder; christ , work them at all! but at the end of the day, the health Nazis should not prevail.

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  35. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    OK, Lets go over the facts again:

    Cigarette smoking is bad for your health. It is a leading contributor to deaths from heart disease, chronic airways diseases and a list of cancers as long as your arm.

    We are talking about a group of people here who most of us would like to have the shortest life span possible.

    My conclusion is to say who gives a fuck about their health and well being. Give them all the cigarettes they want. Let them chain smoke 3 or packs a days. Let them die early and lets not waste benefit money on these villians when they get released from prison. Having these people in smoke free prisons is the complete opposite to doing society a favour. You are also distorting Darwinian laws.

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  36. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Would you also ban coffee and tea ?

    No, but I would ban sugar. Prisoners use an awful lot of it.

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