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As of today, Washington's prisons are tobacco free!

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As of today, Washington's prisons are tobacco free!

Old 11-01-04, 06:05 PM
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As of today, Washington's prisons are tobacco free!



November 1, 2004
Section: Main/Home Front



Smokeless Prisons

Mark Morey
By MARK MOREY YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC


Forget meth, cocaine or marijuana.

The drug of choice right now at Ahtanum View Correctional Complex is tobacco, prison officials say.

Since a smoking ban went into effect in March, inmates have twice broken into the property room to steal seized tobacco. Staff members one day found five tobacco-wrapped rocks that were tossed over the perimeter fence. The price for a single cigarette ranges between $2 and $10, depending on the market.

A smoking ban in prisons statewide goes into effect today.

Corrections officials say they want to create a healthier environment for inmates and staff; most prisoners gripe they are being deprived of one of their few pleasures.

Superintendent Joop DeJonge estimated about 85 of the 120 inmates in the assisted-living part of the prison were smokers. About 20 of the 85 staff smoked; some have quit on their own.

The ban does not cover the prison's work-release offenders, who are housed adjacent to the prison in the 2000 block of South 64th Avenue.

Ahtanum View was able to impose the ban earlier because its officers belong to a different union than most guards in the state.

"It hasn't had as big an effect as I think it will have in other facilities," said DeJonge.

Elsewhere, prisoners are predicting more fights and other problems as the ban goes into effect at main facilities such as Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

"I think they will tear down the place," Ahtanum View inmate Robert Pauley said Friday at the prison.

Pauley opposes the ban. He knows he shouldn't smoke, but says it should be his choice.

"Some people will die here and that's the only vice they've got. They've got nothing else for excitement," Pauley said.

Pauley claimed it would cost taxpayers close to $15,000 to cover the 80 days of good time he lost because of alleged smoking violations since the ban. He admits to having two cigarettes.

He said he has sent a lawsuit to Yakima County Superior Court arguing Ahtanum View deprived inmates of their rights by imposing the ban earlier than the rest of the state and using a different state law to allege violations.

DeJonge said it's his right as superintendent to determine what meets the definition of contraband under a different statute.

Inmate Richard Barbee, who quit smoking in January, claims that having tobacco available reduces fights and makes it easier for lifers to bear their terms.

Addicts get aggravated when they smell smoke on officers, who can smoke outside at a shelter during breaks, Barbee said. None of the officers who were using the shelter before a shift change on Friday would comment.

But for inmate Rex Howell, the ban has been a good thing.

Howell said he was going in debt to buy cigarettes. He said the ban will eliminate health problems, giving him a better chance of living until his release in 2014.

"I want to make it out that door. I want to go home," he said.

DeJonge said smuggling cigarettes and other contraband will always be a part of prison life, but he expects most inmates to adjust to the new reality.

"Some of them are thanking me (saying), 'I don't know what it is, but your food is starting to taste a lot better,'" he said.

Copyright, 2004, Yakima Herald-Republic. All Rights Reserved.
From the Yakima Herald today. Don't know what I think, personally.
Old 11-01-04, 06:07 PM
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My poor, poor uncle....life is really gonna suck for him.
Old 11-01-04, 06:11 PM
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Now what are they going to trade two packs of for a cell bitch?

If anything though, it's another damn good reason to keep out of prison. On the other hand, it's not that big of a luxury.
As long as it's not gonna cost taxpayers any extra money (ie: With anti-tobacco lessons or psychology sessions to deal with their withdrawals.)
Old 11-01-04, 06:12 PM
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People complain about prisoners getting access to education and tvs and shit. I'd much prefer them have those then have cigarettes.
Old 11-01-04, 06:12 PM
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Screw em. They shouldn't have any rights anyway. Besides, there are plenty of other things to puff on in prison.
Old 11-01-04, 06:16 PM
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Very cool. This and 48 more states to go!
Old 11-01-04, 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Green Jello
Very cool. This and 48 more states to go!
what's the other? Maybe it will push criminals to states that let you smoke in prison.
Old 11-01-04, 06:44 PM
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Wouldn't this cause a slight upshift in prison violence? Bunch of pyschos anyway. They are just making it worse now that they have to get through nicotine withdrawls.
Old 11-01-04, 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
what's the other? Maybe it will push criminals to states that let you smoke in prison.
California. The Governator signed the bill into law a few weeks ago.
Old 11-01-04, 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
what's the other? Maybe it will push criminals to states that let you smoke in prison
Actually, that was a poorly worded reference to California and New York banning smoking in public.
Old 11-01-04, 06:53 PM
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So what do they barter with now? Chewing gum?
Old 11-01-04, 06:58 PM
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The article forgets to mention that Marijuana, Heroine, Crank, Crack, and Speed, will not be banned, and can be smoked if needed.
Old 11-01-04, 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by WhoGirl
As long as it's not gonna cost taxpayers any extra money (ie: With anti-tobacco lessons or psychology sessions to deal with their withdrawals.)
<Prostrates before WhoGirl>

Your Excellency,

I regret to inform you that your advisors have not read the original post completely, and have failed to inform you of the following information in regards to your above statement:

Pauley claimed it would cost taxpayers close to $15,000 to cover the 80 days of good time he lost because of alleged smoking violations since the ban.
Shall we have them executed?

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