Oklahoma Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Lift Prison Smoking Ban
by Monte McCoin
The Enid News & Eagle reported on February 23, 2018 that Oklahoma State Representative Rick West had introduced a bill to dismantle a six-year ban on cigarette sales and smoking inside state prisons. The measure, which passed a House committee with a vote of 5-4, moved forward to the full House.
“It’s caused more problems and didn’t solve anything,” West said of the Department of Corrections’ smoking ban. “If the intent was that no smoking be allowed amongst the prisoners, that certainly didn’t happen. They’re smoking in there right now as we speak. What it did was create numerous, numerous problems within the system, and the biggest one is the black market that was created.”
“As a whole, most officers would be OK with allowing tobacco sales back into prisons,” added Jackie Switzer, executive director of Oklahoma Corrections Professionals. “When it was removed, all it did was create another black market item. It created a lot more work for officers having to search out and write up infractions for tobacco. [And] it created a lot more opportunity for, I guess, debts to be accrued inside the prisons between inmates.”
A state budget analysis indicated that prisoners spent nearly $3 million on tobacco products between August 2010 and July 2012, when cigarettes were last sold in Oklahoma prisons.
Department of Corrections officials declined to say whether they supported West’s proposed legislation.
More from this issue:
- In the Eye of the Storm: When Hurricanes Impact Prisons and Jails, by Matthew Clarke
- North Carolina Woman Attempts Bail Bond Scheme from Inside Jail, by Monte McCoin
- Porn Reading Rooms in Iowa Prisons Placed on Legislative Hit List
- U.S. Coast Guard Operating Inhumane Floating Prisons, by Christopher Zoukis
- Wrongful Death Case Against New York Jail Settles for $101,500, by Derek Gilna
- Nebraska Sheriffs Profiting from Jail Phone Contracts, by Christopher Zoukis
- Phony New York Lawyer Defrauds Prisoners, Sent to Prison, by Edward Lyon
- North Dakota: Altered Pencil in Prison Results in Weapon Possession Conviction
- Pro Se Rhode Island Prisoner Wins First Amendment Settlement, by Derek Gilna
- Oklahoma Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Lift Prison Smoking Ban, by Monte McCoin
- Major Wage Ratio Gap Between Executives, Employees at Private Prisons, by Steve Horn
- Former Michigan Prisoner Receives Over $817,000 for Wrongful Conviction
- Virginia Federal Court Holds Nation of Gods and Earth is a Religion
- Dying Prisoner’s Complaint Alleged Claim for Failure to Treat Hepatitis C
- Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Oklahoma Sheriffs – All of Them, by Derek Gilna
- Ohio: $75,000 Settlement Reached after 60-Year-Old Woman Body Slammed by Jail Guard, by Christopher Zoukis
- Newspaper Investigation Reveals Significant Problem with Life Sentences in Arizona, by Christopher Zoukis
- California: Governor Signs Bill to Block Expansion of For-profit Detention Centers, by Dale Chappell
- Washington Prisoner’s Negligence Suit Settles for $75,000
- Justice Department Failing to Assess Prison Population Reduction, Clemency and Reentry Programs, by Christopher Zoukis
- Alabama: State Agencies Have Absolute Immunity in a Court of Law or Equity
- Confusion Over Insanity Defense Leads One Jury to Issue Two Verdicts in Triple Murder, by Christopher Zoukis
- $437,500 Settlement for Brutal Beating at Missouri Jail
- The “Qualified Immunity” Doctrine Needs to be Reexamined, by Derek Gilna
- FTCA Claims Survive; PREA Policy Defeats Discretionary Function Exception, by Jeremy Pinson
- $15,000 Award for New York Prisoner in Medical Negligence Case
- Due Process Mandatory Before Texas Requires Sex Offender Registration for Crimes not Covered by Statute, by Matthew Clarke
- Indiana County Settles Jail Guard’s ADA/Discrimination Suit for $150,000, by Matthew Clarke
- Whistleblowing Angola Prisoner Who Faced Retaliation Wins Relief, Redemption
- $14.3 Million Settlement for Probationers Subject to Extortion by Private Company
- Female Prisoners More Likely to be HIV Positive than Non-prisoners, by Edward Lyon
- Former Pennsylvania Guards Settle FMLA Lawsuits for $110,000, by Derek Gilna
- $330,000 for Florida Prison Guards Abused at Training Academy
- Oregon Sex Offenders Get LWOP, Not Treatment
- Court Certifies Class of Missouri Prisoners Denied Hepatitis C Treatment, by Matthew Clarke
- New York Issues New Solitary Confinement Rules for Local Jails Amid Lawsuits, $5 Million Settlement, by Christopher Zoukis
- Seventh Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity in Jail Suicide Suit, by Matthew Clarke
- Iowa Prison Officials Drop Disciplinary Sanctions in Controversial Case, by Matthew Clarke
- Federal Prisoner Shot in the Eye Awarded $80,000, by Jeremy Pinson
- Fifth Circuit Reinstates Denial of Medical Care Suit Against Texas County Jail, by Matthew Clarke
- Massachusetts: State Court Officers May Not Enforce Immigration Detainers, by Matthew Clarke
- Tennessee: New Trial Ordered in Prisoner’s Wrongful Death Case, by Steve Horn
- As Prison Populations Drop, Several States Close Facilities, by Dale Chappell, Matthew Clarke
- Prison Mailbox Rule Applied to South Carolina Prisoner’s Late PCR Petition
- ACLU Sues Nebraska Over Unconstitutional Prison Conditions, by Matthew Clarke
- San Quentin Newspaper Editor Arnulfo Garcia Leaves a Legacy, by Dale Chappell
- Prison Chaplain Wins Standoff with BOP Over Carrying Pepper Spray, by Monte McCoin
- Judge Threatens Arizona Officials with Contempt Over Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care, by David Reutter
- New York Law Gives Reformed Offenders an Opportunity to Seal Convictions, by Derek Gilna
- California: Defendants’ Repeated Discovery Obstruction Sanctioned in Guard Sex Abuse Case
- Mother-Son Team Sentenced for Tax Fraud, Obstruction of Justice, by Derek Gilna
- “Survivors Guide to Prison,” by Matthew Cooke, director (Gravitas Ventures, February 2018); 102 minutes, by Steve Horn
- “Witness to Human Torture”: On Both Sides of the Prison Walls, Social Workers Confront Solitary Confinement, by Valerie Kiebala
- British Prison Guard Sentenced for Contraband Smuggling Conspiracy, by Monte McCoin
- PLN Censorship Suit Against Virginia Jail Headed to Trial
- New Mexico Jail Sued by HRDC for Censoring Book Orders, by Derek Gilna
- Governor Vetoes Nevada’s Anti-Private Prison Bill, by Monte McCoin
- Rash of Security Breaches Plagues Nation’s Prisons and Jails, by Christopher Zoukis
- Photos Show Aftermath of Lethal South Carolina Prison Brawl that Left Seven Dead, by Steve Horn
- From the Editor, by Paul Wright
- Mass Incarceration is a Women’s Issue, Too, by Jessicah Pierre
- News in Brief
More from Monte McCoin:
- Metropolitan Detention Center Guards Convicted in Sex Abuse Scandal, Jan. 8, 2019
- Harvard Student Group Advocates for Prison Education, Reform, Jan. 8, 2019
- Trump Establishes Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry, Jan. 8, 2019
- Florida: Suit Continues Against CoreCivic for Rape of Developmentally Disabled Child, Dec. 7, 2018
- Military-Style Attack on Brazilian Prison Kills 20 Prisoners, One Guard, Dec. 5, 2018
- Former Jailhouse Lawyer Bobby Battle Dies at Age 80, Dec. 5, 2018
- States Implementing New Technology to Fight Contraband Smuggling Via Drone, Nov. 6, 2018
- Florida: Federal Prison Guard Sentenced for Accepting Bribe, Oct. 12, 2018
- California Attorney Specializes in Representing Prisoners Victimized by Fraud, Oct. 12, 2018
- Australian Woman Gives Birth in Cell After Guards Can’t Unlock the Door, Oct. 12, 2018
More from these topics:
- Florida Private Prisons Seek $4 Million for Employee Raises, Dec. 7, 2018. Corrections Corporation of America/CoreCivic, GEO Group/Wackenhut, Management and Training Corporation, Guards/Staff, State Legislation.
- Amid Scandal, Missouri Governor Issues Commutations and Pardons, Passes New Laws Before Resigning, Dec. 7, 2018. Government Misconduct, Pardons/Clemency, State Legislation.
- Kentucky Law Requiring Abused Spouse to Pay for Abuser’s Divorce Attorney Abolished, Oct. 8, 2018. Attorneys, State Legislation, Marriage.
- New Kansas Law Compensates Those Wrongfully Convicted, Aug. 19, 2018. Wrongful Conviction, State Legislation.
- Kansas (Finally) Outlaws Sex Between Cops and Detained Citizens, Aug. 17, 2018. Assault by Police, State Legislation.
- New Virginia Law Requires Oversight of Jail Deaths, July 2, 2018. Drug/Alcohol Withdrawal, Food, Medical Neglect/Malpractice, Suicides, State Legislation.
- State Criminal Justice Reform Efforts Gaining Traction, July 2, 2018. Prison Reform, Criminal justice system reform, State Legislation.
- $1,500 Settlement After New York Prisoner Claims Smoke Injuries, June 20, 2018. Injury -- Misc., Conditions of Confinement, Smoking, Settlements.
- Crisis in Maryland as Mentally Incompetent Defendants Languish in County Jails, June 5, 2018. Failure to Treat (Mental Illness), State Legislation.
- Porn Reading Rooms in Iowa Prisons Placed on Legislative Hit List, May 9, 2018. Publications/Books, Sexually Explicit Materials, State Legislation.