LETTER: Smoke free prisons move a step closer

Sir – The Department of Correctional Services has taken the next step in the implementation of smoke free correctional institutions throughout the Northern Territory.

As of today, tobacco will no longer be available to purchase when prisoners are initially received into correctional centres.

Previously, prisoners who smoke were sold either a packet of tailor made cigarettes or a pouch of tobacco to see them through to their first opportunity to purchase tobacco products from the prison canteen.

The measure was part of the department’s Healthy Lifestyles program to improve the health of prisoners through not smoking and healthier food choices.

On 1 July, tobacco and tobacco related products will become contraband items in all our correctional centres and prisoners and staff will not be permitted to take those products into a prison.

Non-smoking education and therapy based programs such as the provision of nicotine patches have been running since last year, so no-one should be surprised that these milestones are now upon us.

The next milestone before the full ban takes effect will be on 20 June when the sale of tobacco through prison canteens will cease.

Phil Brown
Department of Correctional Services

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Russell Guy
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Fantastic news, Phil. Give me two-minute noodles over smoke-filled lungs every time. That the Department is health conscious and caring enough to lift prison culture into a new level via the elimination of tobacco is courageous.

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  2. Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

    From the 1st July 2013, students of human behaviour will witness a peculiar and rare phenomenon in Northern Territory prisons.
    That will be the day that the entire financial system used by prison inmates will complete the transfer of currency from cigarettes to 2 minute noodles.
    Last minute negotiations on exchange rates and pricing are ongoing and noodle manufacturers are lobbying hard to have their brand positioned at the premium end of the market.
    The Department of Corrections stated today that corruption will be reduced by the elimination of cigarettes from prisons because there are only so many packets of 2 minute noodles guards can carry without being detected.

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