THE government has reported that smoking bans will be enforced in all prisons in Wales and four prisons in south-west England from next year.
Starting next month, smoking will be barred in the interior of all ‘open’ prisons in England and Wales. The smoking ban has been put into place to monitor stability and safety will be maintained within prisons.
At present, smoking is only permitted in prison cells and exercise yards, but the government eventually intends to ban smoking in all 136 prisons in England and Wales to decrease health risks.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Implementation will be phased over a long period in order to make these changes safely. Prisoners will have access to e-cigarettes and other support to stop smoking.”
Other countries, including Canada and New Zealand, had already made this transition successfully, she added.
The Scottish Prison Service has stated that they hope to have plans in place by December 2015 to deliver an indoor smoke-free approach.
However, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice has announced that they have no intentions to change the current rules under which smoking is permitted in prison cells and certain open spaces
It is estimated that 80 percent of inmates are smokers.