A policy well implemented

November 30th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

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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14 Responses to “A policy well implemented”

  1. kowtow (8,522 comments) says:

    I used to think that prison was for punishing offenders and hopefully make them give up their criminal habits.

    But no,in our oh so PC world prisons are just another place where the “progressive” social control freaks can exercise their power over others.

    And just the other day a prison guard was convicted of smuggling tobacco into prison. Effective? Bwahaha……

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  2. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Fantastic, I thought this might be a bit of a trainwreck (major resistence from prisoners) but it is amazing to hear how well it went. Good on the government for implementing it.

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  3. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

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

    Absolute joke. Concerts and barbecues in prison. What next heated flooring and flatscreen tv’s ? Oh wait.

    Incarceration in NZ is a sick joke, nothing more than time out in a luxury facility with every do-gooder at your beck and call.

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  4. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    “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 smoking again after leaving jail.”

    Would not, might not, perhaps, maybe, ooooh I might consider that, not sure, definately maybe….
    What a pointless “evaluation”, it means absolutely nothing. Wonder how much the consultants got paid for that.

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  5. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    VOR: that’s a very good question….you should put in an OIA request…They seem to have plenty of money for nonsense like this, but never enough for other much more important things…

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  6. smttc (752 comments) says:

    Bevan Hanlon, the doomsayer, eat your heart out.

    Kowtow, don’t be a fuckwit. It’s a health issue, not a control issue.

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  7. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    DPF #

    “…..Dr Lukkien said some prisons held barbecues and concerts to involve prisoners in “celebrating” going smokefree, rather than seeing it as a hardship….Excellent. They’ll save money and be healthier….”

    So when do law abiding NZers who give up smoking get a BBQ and free concerts on the taxpayer David?

    We’ll be healthier and save money too…..or do you only care David if a prison saves money?

    If you no longer believe in equality for ALL people David, then just say so…….don’t worry about what the gays will have to say about you….go on David, come out of the closet and admit you don’t believe in equality anymore! :cool:

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  8. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    Wow if it’s worked so well, maybe they should make prisons drug free as well.

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  9. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    liarbors a joke – how many prisons have you been to? they arent fun places. sure, theres no hard labour but you still have to work. eg if you are in auckland and you dont work they ship you off to some shit hole down south. those are the jails full of gang members. not fun.

    hell, in order to have a visit, some dude looks in your ass! twice! sounds pretty horrible to me

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  10. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    hell, in order to have a visit, some dude looks in your ass! twice! sounds pretty horrible to me

    I think you’ll find that treatment isn’t standard.

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  11. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Have visited Pare , Rolleston, Paparua and Mt Eden early 80’s so have an idea of how they are.

    End of the day prison is, or should be for punishment. Long and hard. Fuck this namby pampy stuff, nicotene patchs, bbqs and concerts. Prison needs to be a place feared, once visited you never want to go back.

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  12. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    dime: I have been inside several prisons (Just visiting!) and I agree, they are not “fun places”.

    But unless things have changed since I visited, work is voluntary at all prisons, and there is a waiting list for places. I know that at the time I departed Parliament they were trying to increase work opportunities…be grateful for any “inside” information you have…accurate information preferably…

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

    David Garrett:

    According to the Department’s strategy document:

    The Prisoner Employment Strategy 2006-2009 set a target of increasing prisoner employment from 40 per cent to 60 per cent of prisoners. The Department has achieved a good portion of this growth, increasing employment participation to approximately 55 per cent of prisoners in 2009…

    The bulk of this growth occurred in CIE-managed prison industries, which included the introduction of a number of new industries and partnerships with private companies…

    Release to Work has been the most significant success of the Prisoner Employment Strategy. The number of prisoners engaged each week in this activity increased from 27 in June 2006 to 163 in March 2009. These prisoners are employed in regular jobs in the community and gain real work experience and the chance to keep their jobs when they are released.

    Presumably the trend has continued slowly moving in the right direction. As dime says, if you are offered work and turn it down, there are consequences. In any event, for many prisoners the small stipend they receive for working is their only in-prison income, to spend on “luxuries” such as biscuits or cordial at the canteen. So it’s “voluntary” in the sense that if you don’t want any canteen spends and don’t mind being shipped to some pretty unplesasant places, you can refuse.

    Which is not to be read as implying I don’t think prisoners should work; I do, provided they’re learning skills and they certainly seem to be in New Zealand, though not so in Australia. The only bit I found disappointing in the strategy was this:

    In a number of other jurisdictions, prisoners provide educational or support roles in prison. This approach can take a number of forms. Prisoners with qualifications or particular work experience can assist other prisoners with tutoring or other forms of support to help them gain qualifications of their own.

    The Department will be exploring whether there is any scope to introduce these activities…

    Of course there’s scope! Assess every prisoner on the way in. Those with a qualification – whether it be in literacy or carpentry – are assigned to teach those without. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not hard to implement – a decent Project Manager could have it happening in a week.

    scrubone:

    In maximum security facilities, yes it is.

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  14. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    DG – its been too long now. My buddy who did life was released in 2007. We stopped being friends in 2008.

    He said there was always work, a lot of it was crappy like mopping floors etc.

    He ended up helping to build prison fences etc. then in the plant nursery.

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