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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150018 Find in a Library
Title: Clearing the Air in U.S. Correctional Systems: Prison Smoking Policies More Defined, Comparable
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Annotation: Smoking policies in U.S. correctional systems have become more strictly defined and uniform since the danger of second-hand smoke became an issue in the early 1980's.
Abstract: Some States have enacted laws that prohibit smoking in government-owned or leased buildings, with the exception of permanent residences. Certain State correctional systems define inmate cells as permanent residences and thus allow inmates to smoke. Idaho allows inmates to smoke in designated areas, while New York permits smoking in all residential housing areas. On the other hand, correctional facilities in California, Kansas, Vermont, and Utah are smoke-free. In California and Vermont, however, smoking is allowed in prison yards. In many States, such as Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and Michigan, smoking policies are left to the discretion of institution supervisors. Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, and North Carolina permit smoking breaks. Arizona, Delaware, and Maine maintain designated areas where inmates can smoke. Most correctional systems with smoking rules for inmates also have smoking regulations for administrators and staff. As correctional systems develop and refine their smoking policies, problems will be encountered. Some of these problems can be alleviated by designating smoking and nonsmoking areas and by conducting smoking cessation programs. The issue of second-hand smoke has generated a number of lawsuits, and correctional administrators must respond to the legal concerns of inmates by at least providing smoking areas with proper ventilation as well as nonsmoking areas.
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