Monday, 30 May 2011

Where smoking ban increases immediate risks to personnel

More light blogging. This one concerns the approaching smoking ban in New Zealand prisons, due on 1 July. More than one opinion piece has suggested that prisons are poorly staffed for managing tense situations. Changing the law to prevent prisoners from smoking, while protecting prison guards from whatever ailments smoking might give them, is likely, according to the union (which officially supports the principle of a smoke-free workplace), to make their work increasingly difficult especially in the first 24 hours of incarceration, the period when most prisoners are at risk from self-harm. Officers frequently find supervising prisoners during this period traumatic. Another association has asked for riot police to be on standby.

Is it really worth it?

1 comment:

The witch from Essex said...

I would like to see a big burly Maori guy throttle a couple of the guards in the New Zealand prison system.
Even the WW2 prisoners were allowed tobacco.
The Geneva Convention states:
experience has shown that for many prisoners tobacco is as necessary as food. Tobacco is not an article of prime necessity; it is even to some extent a poison: many people do completely without it while others may be suddenly deprived of it without suffering physical inconvenience, and even with advantage to their health. But it is a fact that from a psychological point if view tobacco
plays a very important part in the life of men in confinement. It calms the nerves of the smokers and helps them to bear their suffering, while it provides non-smokers with a valuable form of currency which enables them to procure other advantages in exchange. Tobacco is not harmful in the way that alcohol is, and the Convention, in placing it among the things like water which are essential for the internees, recognizes the important part played by this harmless narcotic in soothing men's minds and nerves.