A policy well implemented

Simon Collins at NZ Herald reports:

The ban made all tobacco products and lighters “contraband”, imposing disciplinary consequences if prisoners or guards were found with them.

Dr Lukkien said the ban was effective. Confiscations plunged from 569 lighters and 237 tobacco items in the first month of the ban to two lighters and 12 tobacco items in June this year.

Nurses in all prisons offered nicotine-replacement patches and lozenges to all smokers for up to 12 weeks.

Dr Lukkien said some prisons held barbecues and concerts to involve prisoners in “celebrating” going smokefree, rather than seeing it as a hardship.

A second evaluation, completed this year by Wellington-based Litmus Ltd and Kaipuke Consultants, found that half of the prisoners who had been smokers said they either would not or might not start again after leaving jail.

Excellent. They’ll save money and be healthier.

“Improvements in prisoners’ self-esteem and confidence were also evident. Health staff reported prisoners telling them that having given up a nicotine addiction means that they feel they can give up other addictive behaviour also.”

And drug and alcohol addiction is a major issue with prisoners.

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