POA Circulars

128 | 15.10.2012

Smoking in Prisons

The POA has been involved in a long campaign and fight with successive Governments and NOMS to prevent prisoners smoking in their cells and designated areas within prisons in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2007.

Despite legislation, which protects workers from the harmful effects of second hand smoke, the Government and NOMS have consistently refused to implement smoke free prisons.

A report was given to the NEC that at a recent meeting of the Health and Safety Whitley Committee Suzy Diamond White had concluded her investigatory report into smoking in prisons, which has now been passed to the NOMS board. The report is clear and recommends smoking to be banned in prisons. The NEC welcomed the report and have asked that the implementation of the smoking ban should be actioned immediately. The NEC are aware that the decision now rests with NOMS board on how and when to implement the ban.

The NEC are content that this issue will remain a standing item on future Health and Safety Whitley meetings and request that all other Whitley committees do the same until the implementation is complete.

The Executive are pleased to announce that Michael Spurr, CEO of NOMS, has indicated his willingness to press ahead with pilots of smoke free prisons in England and Wales. This is a small step on a long road for the POA, its members, staff who work in prisons and of course prisoners who are also forced to suffer the harmful effects of second hand smoke.

The POA has also been working with our retained solicitors Thompsons on this matter and previous advice circulated to members remains valid.

The POA must continue with its campaign and fight until all prisons are smoke free.

Please draw the contents of this circular to all members. If you require any further information or advice please feel free to contact the unions Health and Safety Committee by email at HandS@poauk.org.uk.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.



General Secretary