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Date posted: 5 June 2013
Smoking will be banned at Risdon Prison in Tasmania by mid-2015. Tasmanian Corrections Minister, Mr McKim said the Tasmanian prison service was working on a plan for all prison facilities to be smoke-free within two years. He said the prison service would use a model similar to that used successfully in New Zealand.
‘I believe that the prison service has a duty to provide not only a safer workplace for staff, but also a safer environment for prisoners. A ban on smoking will achieve this aim,' Mr McKim said.
‘The TPS has already successfully introduced a level of smoking bans in some specific areas of prison facilities, and the plan is to extend that to a complete smoking ban sometime in 2015. We will consult fully with staff and unions during the development of our plan.'
Mr McKim said the policy would apply to all staff as well as prisoners. ‘Given the historical cultural norms associated with smoking in prisons, I don't believe anyone would consider these changes an easy task,' he said. ‘But it further demonstrates that the State Government is serious about reforming Tasmania's prison system.'
The Northern Territory will become the first Australian jurisdiction to ban smoking in its prison system when a ban comes into effect next month. Prison Advisory Service co-convenor Greg Barns said the decision was absurd and that it would only raise tensions in the prison system.