Drake Hall prison: Smoking ban causes riot

A ban on smoking in prisons is slowly being introduced across prison island, with several of them already banning it outright. Others are planning to be smoke-free by September.

Prisoners at Drake Hall women’s prison decided enough is enough when the ban took affect there. A prisoner explained: ‘We got all the leaflets about how the ban was going to happen – first the shop would stop selling tobacco, and then the total ban would come in. Within the first week of the shop stopping selling it there was a riot. Loads of prisoners refused to go back to their cells and it was mayhem. There were women screaming and shouting, sitting on the roofs of blocks. After it calmed down a lot of those involved were transferred, probably to prisons where they can smoke. If they know stopping smoking is going to cause so much trouble why are they pushing ahead? If women in an open prison riot, then what are all the men in a maximum security jail going to do?’

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