On banning smoking in prisons

A letter was reportedly sent to prison staff and reported in The Times. It said: “You will no doubt be aware that the decision has been made that the time is right for the prison service to adopt a tobacco and smoke free policy to provide a smokefree workplace and environment for our staff and prisoners.”

Prisons in the South West will be the first to implement the ban in early March or April next year, with Exeter and Eastwood Park Women’s Prison thought to be the first to trial the new regime.


The majority of prisoners currently smoke. And it ain’t gonna be easy getting them to stop doing so.

But here’s the thing. I vaguely recall that they decided some time ago that they couldn’t stop prisoners smoking. Something to do with a cell being a “home” and thus there was not the power to stop smoking in it?

11 thoughts on “On banning smoking in prisons”

  1. Jails only exist because the crims accept the situation. If they were all willing to work together for even a short time they would be free in a matter of hours. Remember what they did to Strangeways jail back about 1990.They won’t of course, any more than “ordinary” people will get together to smash the state “like a horse shaking off flies” as Orwell put it.
    However, they could decide that they are going to stand together on smoking and be willing to pile in and use violence on any attempts to stop( or punish) them smoking. The screws want a quiet life. They will let it go.
    Whether the crims have the gumption is moot. If they did tho’ and got the idea that mass co-operation gives them power–look out.

  2. “I vaguely recall that they decided some time ago that they couldn’t stop prisoners smoking.”

    That was then, this is now and the bansturbators and control freaks have grown ever bolder…

  3. The pub smoking ban was touted as a workplace issue.
    Other workplaces have bans.

    How many homes have a ban – nursing & retirement homes? Hotels (temporary homes)?

  4. Just the word ‘smokefree’ [sic, without hyphen, even] makes my fists itch.*

    And I gave up ages ago.

    *Linguistic tanks on the lawn. One rarely hears environments described, for example, as “child-free”. Maybe we could apply the same logic and start talking about places as ‘smoke-friendly’.

  5. The law is whatever the shitheads say it is. They intend to ban it in the home next anyway. This is how they work.

    But yes, Tim is absolutely right, that a mere few years ago they were saying that.

  6. I think it was decided that the law against smoking in public places should not apply to prisoners’ cells, which were deemed to be domestic premises. That doesn’t mean that the MoJ can’t forbid prisoners to smoke in them if it chooses.

  7. This should be interesting. The prod-nosed bansturbators vs the ‘uman rights brigade. Will be instructive to see who wins. My money is on the ‘uman rights mob, using victimhood poker rules, I think the rights of criminals (of multi-ethnic hues) will trump those of white middle class civil servants.

  8. I would have thought it a higher priority to teach Her Majesty’s Guests how to read, write and add up, thus increasing their chances of staying out once they get out. Oh, and getting them off the harder drugs, in which task allowing the lesser ‘evil’ of the ‘baccy must make the task easier.

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