Earlier this year, Correctional Service of Canada, the government agency which manage and run the nation's federal prison system, announced that as of May, outdoor smoking would no longer be allowed. Indoor smoking has been prohibited as of 2006.
I support this initiative and believe in the importance of removing drugs and other harmful and addictive substances from our prisons. Illegal drugs obviously should remain illegal, but it is no less important to ensure the health and safety of our prison officials and staff.
Nonetheless, I do concede that this will no be easy nor will compliance come about quickly. On the Ottawa Citizen's website, there is a story raising some of this difficulties and issues. The part of this story which I take issue with concerns the response of inmates to the smoking ban. Apparently, when consulted, inmates were "overwhelmingly against a total ban, warning it would possibly lead to cases of 'serious confrontation and possible damage.'"
Where in the world do these inmates get they idea that they have the right to threaten Corrections Canada and prison staff?!? This is simply not acceptable. These individuals have been imprisoned because they could not comply with society's laws, and no they think they have the right to threaten harm to people and property over the right to smoke.
If you are really concerned about the right to smoke, perhaps you shouldn't have commit a crime. Non-imprisoned Canadians have the right to smoke in their private residences, which is a privilege. When you are incarcerated, you, rightfully lose that privilege only with many others.