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Prisons: Smoking

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners who smoke were sharing cells with non-smokers on 1 January 2009. (272828)

Under the terms of Prison Service Instruction 9/2007, which is available in the Library of the House, prisoners who are non-smokers must not be required to share a cell with smokers who are actively smoking. The status of a prisoner as a smoker or non-smoker should be established as part of reception procedures. Thereafter, arrangements must be made to place non-smokers and smokers in separate accommodation.

Occasionally it may be necessary to locate a smoker and a non-smoker together temporarily when there is no other accommodation available. The smoker should not be actively smoking in the cell and will be offered aids to help them refrain. There are no formal arrangements for recording this centrally, although it would normally be recorded on the individual prisoner’s history sheet. Information as to the number of smokers and non-smokers sharing cells on any given date could be obtained only by examining the record of every prisoner in custody at the time, at disproportionate cost.