Smoking ban in prisons welcomed by the Hull Prison Officers Association

Published: Friday 2nd October 2015 by KCFM

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However, there are concerns prisoners won’t take the news lightly, prompting more violence behind bars.

Prison officers in Hull are concerned the new smoking ban could increase violence behind bars.

From next year, smoking will be banned in all Welsh prisons and four in England.

Rob Nicholson, Chairman of the Hull Prison Officers Association, believes the ban is long overdue:

“The government’s stance is that this is some person’s home, this is where they live. For me, I chose to live where I live and an offender chooses to commit a life of crime. They need to understand that when they come into custody, they need to abide by the laws and policies that the prison puts in place.”

He hopes the ban will be rolled out across all English prisons by next year, including HMP Hull and HMP Humber.

Rob says it’s down to health and safety of both his officers and inmates who don’t smoke but who are passive smoking due to others.

He says they welcome the use of e-cigarettes though:

“There are prisoners that have been smoking the majority of their lives, so to suddenly turn around and say, ‘Smoking for offenders is no longer allowed’, that is not realistic and that is not something we would support, because that could raise the levels of violence in prison. So we need to do it in a careful and calculated way.”

Hull Prison Officers have welcomed the new smoking ban, saying it can’t come soon enough.

But Rob says their workload will increase because of it:

“Once the ban comes into force, tobacco will be an illegal substance within the prison estate. We’ve very much talked about spice, but we’re now going to talk about illegal contraband coming into jail. So again, it’s just another battle that we’re having to face on a daily basis.”

However, they are anticipating prisoners won’t be happy with the change in the rules and are expecting more violence and outbursts because of it.

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Published: Friday 2nd October 2015 by KCFM

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