Image via WikipediaWill the recently announced policy of the NZ Government to ban smoking in New Zealand from 1 July 2011 have any detrimental affects onprison life - will it cause riots and increased violence within prisons, as claimed by a prison guard's union? Guards have already been threatened in advance.
The Corrections minister, Judith Collins, aptly nicknamed "Crusher", announced the policy yesterday NZ time. She claimed health and safety reasons - second hand smoke and threats to sue for the ban but others cite cheap political expediency - it will be just a few months short of the next elections.
As for the ban, 67-80% of prisoners in Kiwi prisons smoke. The prisons will have to provide support for those wishing to quit - phone support and nicotine patches. As an ex-smoker I know diet has a lot to do with recovery from the habit - but they won't get any extra food inside.
PM John Key knows the inmates will get grizzly, but it will be just too bad! But he and his government don't have to work inside, the guards do. I know there isn't much support out there for many of the nations worst prisoners, but take their 'fags' off them and what do they have left? Just their thoughts. Nearly half of all inmates in NZ prisons have mental health problems anyway, this will make them worse, I would suggest.