View Full Version : Smoking in Prisons Washington State **UPDATE**

06-16-2004, 07:46 AM
I see that Washington State has postponed the 'No smoking for prisoners or on the Prison Grounds in Washinton State'. The law was supposed to start in July (I believe) and now has beed postponed until November. Has anyone heard have the inmates are reacting yet?

06-16-2004, 08:40 AM
It's been postponed.... that is almost wrong. If you are going to do it... then just do it!! If not, then say so.

My Fellah is a smoker, and at Airway Heights they have to step outside to smoke.
I had heard that inmates were stockpiling tabacco. Wonder what this has done to the cost of their product? (you can take the student out of Marketing, but never the Marketing out of the student!! lol)

Thanks for the update!!


06-16-2004, 01:45 PM
I know my ex was upset when he heard they were going non-smoking through out Washington which is just plain stupid to me....he's a little happier to know it won't be until November but I think its just another way for the system to punish people already being punished for doing wrong! Get a grip Washington Lawmakers...

06-16-2004, 02:49 PM
The main institution at WSP was pretty tense for a while. My friend whose hubby lives in 8 wing says that there were rumors of a riot. The postponement definately calmed things down.

06-16-2004, 08:18 PM

Washington Inmates Will Keep Smoking Thanks To Prison Guards

POSTED: 10:31 AM PDT June 16, 2004
UPDATED: 10:34 AM PDT June 16, 2004

MONROE, Wash. -- Inmates in Washington state prisons have guards to thank for a four-month reprieve from a smoking ban.

The ban affects inmates and prison staff and was scheduled to take effect July 1. It was postponed to Nov. 1 under a recently negotiated agreement with Teamsters Local 117, said assistant deputy corrections secretary Lynne DeLano on Monday.

The union had two concerns with the ban, said Teamsters lawyer Spencer Thal. One concern was that inmates could become violent if they are cut off from tobacco. The other was that guards who were longtime smokers would have difficulty quitting.

Thal refused to discuss details of the agreement until it is presented to union members. The union has about 12,000 members, including about 5,000 prison workers.

State officials have said the chief purpose of the ban is to cut health care costs. At least 17 other states ban smoking in prison.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press ( All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

06-16-2004, 08:47 PM
They can't smoke at Stafford man doesen't smoke anyways but.....I don't know what the others think about it!

06-17-2004, 10:05 AM
thanks JTT for finding the article on that!

07-23-2004, 02:17 AM
Smoking bans spread to prisons

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
The last sanctuary for smokers in government buildings has always been the worst place to be prison. But those institutions are fast becoming smoke-free, to the anguish of nicotine-addicted prisoners and guards.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Prisons became the latest to join the no-smoking movement by instituting a near-total ban on lighted tobacco in 105 prisons holding 180,000 inmates.

At least 38 of 50 state correctional departments report that they are either smoke-free or have partial smoking bans, according to a 2002 survey conducted by the American Correctional Association, a professional trade organization. And more states keep joining the list.

Some states, such as Delaware, allow other tobacco products, like snuff or chew. Others, such as Florida, allow inmates to smoke in designated areas outside.

"If you can't quit, you're just stuck and you're now a second-class citizen," complains smoker Aubrey Francis, a federal correctional officer and vice president with the Council of Prison Locals, bargaining representative for the nations' 36,000 federal prison employees. "I'll be honest with you, they're very aggravated about it," Francis says.

'Inmates were a little bit testy'

Over the past 10 years, prisons and jails have moved toward banning tobacco products out of concerns about the health hazard of secondhand smoke. In addition, a string of court opinions, including a 1993 Supreme Court ruling, have supported inmate claims that being held in a smoke-filled prison may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

States have moved at different speeds and with varying success to restrict or ban tobacco. Concerns that inmates would turn violent if they couldn't smoke have so far been unfounded.

"The first week, some of the inmates were a little bit testy, but nothing significant," says Lynne DeLano, a spokeswoman for Washington's corrections department. The state banned smoking in three prisons earlier this year, and will expand the policy to all 15 prisons on Nov. 1.

"Inmates are like a lot of people," DeLano says, "if you tell them in advance what's going to happen, they grumble and complain a little bit. And then they kind of get on with it and manage the change."

In some prisons where smoking has been banned, tobacco has become the black-market favorite, quickly outpacing narcotics in sales.

"Frankly, I'd rather be chasing tobacco than drugs," says Martin Horn, head of the New York City Department of Correction, which instituted a smoking ban last year for its 13,000 prisoners.

"It's ultimately going to be the national norm," says Horn, who instituted limited smoking restrictions in 1995 when he ran Pennsylvania's prisons. "It's the smart thing to do. It's the right thing to do."

Even so, the growing tobacco black market has raised some concerns.

In Colorado, where the state's nearly 20,000 prisoners were barred from smoking in 1999 prison employees were barred a year later the price of a smuggled cigarette is now $10, says Alison Morgan, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections.

"You're dealing with a criminal element, so they're going to attempt to take advantage of any opportunity that they can and look for enterprise," Morgan says.

Reginald Wilkinson, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which has 32 prisons and nearly 44,000 prisoners, says black-market tobacco doesn't replace the demand for marijuana and other drugs; it only adds to the list of contraband.

Ohio has moved slowly on banning tobacco. Some institutions provide alternative housing for non-smoking inmates. New prisons must be smoke-free. But the vast majority of state inmates still live in prisons where smoking is allowed.

If there was a total ban on tobacco, the smuggling problem "would just be exacerbated," Wilkinson says. "We would essentially continue to have marijuana and money and other kinds of things attempted to be smuggled in. But this (tobacco) would be one that we would probably spend our most time on."

But that complicated efforts to prevent smoking inside the state's nine prisons.

"We found that they were smoking pretty much everywhere," says Lawrence McLiverty, director of security for the state corrections department. Early this year, the smoking ban was reinstated.

In 1994, Texas became one of the first states to ban smoking. Last year, the state cracked down on smuggling by making it a felony to provide tobacco to inmates.

State Rep. Terri Hodge of Dallas, a smoker who proposed the new law, says it was necessary to stop the growing black market.

Some prisoners have had their mothers unwittingly bring tobacco to them behind bars.

A guard once tried to sneak packages of tobacco inside by taping them to his body under his clothing.

At one minimum-security prison, a bow and arrow were used to launch tobacco over a fence.

Federal ban challenged

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, in making its facilities smoke-free last week, tried to ease the change by offering smoking-cessation programs to prisoners and inmates, along with a supply of nicotine patches. Inmates must pay for their patches. The guards may get them for free.

The federal correctional employees union fought the smoking ban by arguing that prison guards working long shifts in locked-down facilities would not have the luxury of stepping outside for a smoke.

The union took its demands for indoor smoking areas to a binding arbitration panel in 2001 and lost.

The panel said employees could smoke in guard towers and prison vehicles, but only if they were alone.

Aubrey Frances, who worked on the arbitration case, estimates that maybe half of federal corrections workers are smokers, and thousands will be frustrated by the new ban.

"It's like we're back in high school" Frances says.

09-20-2004, 12:51 PM
Do you know where or at what institution I could file acomplaint against the smoke ban. Any idea?

09-20-2004, 01:23 PM
I don't if this can be stopped. It comes from the WA State Legislation and the National Dept of Corrections.

09-20-2004, 01:35 PM
well, I can at least try and make those guys aware that this ban will cause lots of trouble and agressivness among the inmates. Besides its inhumane. We cannot just sit around and do nothing. Just imagine if we were in their position. - How can I find out wher I could file this complaint? Could the governor be the right address?

09-20-2004, 01:39 PM

here is the link to some DOC contacts that you can start with.
to find Gov. Locke's address, just do a Search on the WA forum and his address should pop up.

Good luck.

09-20-2004, 02:19 PM
Great!- Thanks a lot. Ok, my Sweeteart is going to call me within the next hour. I will discuss with him how the complaint should look like and then I will post it.

Truth Seeker
09-21-2004, 01:58 AM
Wasn't the ban in Monroe postponed until 1st January 2005? My friend only remarked: I will stop when they tell me to stop.

09-21-2004, 12:01 PM
Well, all my man told me is that d-day would be Nov.1. - I mean, is your friend sure? Jan 1 sound better, although it is still ealy enough..

09-21-2004, 12:21 PM
Well... when you consider that this ban has been stopped, started, delayed and started again, for over a year now... it is hard to say when it will go into effect. Sooner or later, it will go into effect.

I think the options for completly stopping the ban are coming to an end. Half of the WA prisons are already smoke free and inmates do fine. The same thing happened in California, and there were no major problems.

My guy is a smoker, but has no problem with the ban. To him, it is just one more thing to get through.

For us, the bigger battle was good medical care and nutrition. Now that the medical care is over... and he is fully recovered... it is time to focus on the quality of food. Smoking is a choice, eating is not.

But that is our view on the issue. I certainly will not try to stop you from doing all that you can.


09-21-2004, 01:26 PM
No you're right. I fully agree with you. I know he's got a strong mind, besides he has already slowed down smoking, knowing what is going to happen. It's just - they don't have nothing in there, but a cigarette once in a while to pass the time. I mean, I should feel better, because it will be better for his health too...but..

09-21-2004, 01:44 PM

I understand. Strip a man of everything. Even his smokes.

You have to choose your battles. This is one that for Me and Fellah, we choose not to fight. That is OUR choice.

If you still want to continue, then by all means... do so. But I have to tell ya... there isn't much support and I don't want you to get frustrated. Kinda like watching someone bang their head on a wall!! Been there, done that, watch others do it too. I can even give you some tips on how to better bang your head against the wall, if you so choose to continue!! LOL


Truth Seeker
09-21-2004, 02:22 PM
I am not sure if my friend is sure, Indianfire! What I am almost sure of is, that by stopping smoking they will add 5 years at least on to the life sentence of my friend!!!

09-21-2004, 02:42 PM
don't say that - I got a lifer too, and we're not finished with them yet.