Tag Archives: drug

Florida Department of Corrections ends cigarette ban in work camps: smoke em if you got em

I think this is what’s known as the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy of corrections…

From the article: “Department of Corrections officials say they lifted the prohibition on tobacco-related products in the work release programs because they didn’t want prisoners so close to completing their sentences to have to go back behind bars for breaking the rules.”

Read the article here.
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NZ: Prison smoking ban ruled ‘unlawful’

According to the article, this is the second appeal – both successful – of New Zealand’s prison system’s attempt to restrict smoking.  In this latest judgment, the judge reportedly found that “forcing prisoners into nicotine withdrawal is not humane.”


“…sentences must not be administered more restrictively than is reasonably necessary to ensure the maintenance of the law and the safety of the public, corrections staff, and prisoners. Depriving prisoners of tobacco, an otherwise lawful substance, is too restrictive.”

The result?  The corrections system is still going to be smoke-free, but inmates reprimanded for breaching the ban could receive compensation.

Read more here.

I’ve got to say that I do not agree with this.  Ohio has banned tobacco in its prisons (for both inmates and staff) for several years now.  Prior to the ban, you would have non-smoking inmates complaining about the amount of smoke and the very real threat posed by secondhand smoke.  I have far more sympathy for those inmates than others who are purposefully engaging in self-injurious behavior via tobacco inhalation.

That’s not to say that the ban has not caused problems.  Despite the ban, tobacco continues to be smuggled into the prison like any contraband, but now inmates and staff can sell it for exorbitant black market prices.  Staff spend a large amount of time tracking down contraband that is otherwise legal on the street.  And inmates have said that nicotine withdrawal contributes to violence and/or that having tobacco reinstated would reduce violence.

I still think that the longterm healthcare costs incurred by tobacco use – which the state would have to pay – outweigh the desire to feed a nicotine addiction, which is both harmful and expensive.  Better for people to spend the time in prison kicking the habit for when they are released.

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OH: Inmate died of heroin overdose

The inmate died of a heroin overdose while he was incarcerated in the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Justice Center.

Staff response:

“Do we know how Mr. Barton got his drugs? Nope. That’s what we’re working on,” said Jim Knapp, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. “But it is a jail and we have criminals here.”

Excellent investigative finding.

Read more here.

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LA: Possible crimes in shocking inmate prison videos ‘concerning’ to Orleans DA Cannizzaro, spokesman says

From the article: “Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro cast doubt through a spokesman on Friday over Sheriff Marlin Gusman‘s internal response to salacious videos from 2009 showing inmates cavorting with drugs, a loaded gun and beer inside the now-closed House of Detention, and one inmate bounding around the French Quarter.”

Read more here.

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