Melbourne, June 30 (IANS) Smoking will be banned in Australian state Victoria’s prisons from Wednesday, in a push to make prison life healthier for inmates.
The Victorian government flagged the ban last year, and the Corrections Department has been working with Quit Victoria, the state’s anti-smoking body, to formulate programmes specifically for the prison population, reported Xinhua news agency.
More than 80 percent of inmates smoke, but only 20 percent had attended quit programmes up until the end of May this year.
Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the plan aims to reduce the number of smokers in the state’s 14 penitentiaries, and encourage exercise as a way to quell the cravings.
“This has been 18 months in the making. We’ve had a very long-term project in place to work with both our staff and the prisoners in preparing for (the ban),” she said.