Smoking ban affects more than just prisoners

3 weeks 1 day 20 minutes ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
By: Anthony Holtschlag, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A district court this weekend ordered a smoking ban for all Missouri corrections facilities, which was the result of an inmate suing the state, "alleging an Eighth Amendment violation due to his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke," according to the court order.

The plaintiff, Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington, has asthma and claimed to be in constant danger of an attack.

Washington is serving a life sentence for a double murder.

This decision could help prisoners with asthma, like Washington, but may also cause just as many problems as it solves.

To quit smoking is not an easy task. The potential for withdrawal symptoms is high for people who are addicted, especially for inmates who will be forced to quit cold-turkey. Those symptoms can include irritability, insomnia and even depression.

But Gary Gross, executive director of the Missouri Corrections Officers Association, said he's not just worried for the inmates, but for the officers as well.

"Our biggest concern is their wellbeing within the facilities and if this does disturb the inmate population that it might lead to harm coming to corrections officers as a result of it," Gross said.

Usually the officers would have permissions to smoke near the facilities, but the new ban has forced the Missouri Department of Corrections to designate a specific spot for employees and visitors to smoke away from the premises.

Gross said he thinks these areas may end up being located in facility parking lots.

The ban also comes at a time when Missouri corrections facilities are in short staff. Gross said corrections officers could be put at a severe disadvantage as a result.

"People are working tremendous amounts of overtime, and when the institutions are not adequately staffed, then that opens the door to more problems," Gross said.

The ban is set to go into effect on April 1, 2018. In a release, the Department of Corrections outlined how it would provide inmates with "smoking-cessation classes, educational materials, counseling and other support services" in the meanwhile. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A local committee dedicated an African American Heritage Trail Marker on Tuesday. The Sharp End Heritage... More >>
21 minutes ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- C-SPAN arrived in Jefferson City on Tuesday to meet with local and state politicians and middle school students... More >>
25 minutes ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal inmate with end-stage renal disease has been spared the death penalty for his fourth murder... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:27:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court has thrown out a $72 million award to a woman who claimed... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:19:21 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
TONGANOXIE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man and found three sisters whose disappearance in August from their Kansas... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:09:53 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been charged with shooting a St. Louis police detective in the shoulder last... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:02:35 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say deputies have shot and wounded a man after he pointed a gun at them in... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:55:26 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri is hiring the top Missouri state senator's chief of staff to be the... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:50:49 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against a lawmaker who called for... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:44:07 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
CARUTHERSVILLE (AP) — Authorities are searching for two inmates who escaped Sunday from the Pemiscot County jail. The St.... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:31:27 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police records show there has been an unprecedented spike in gun thefts in Kansas City, Missouri.... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:17:12 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sherrif's Department will conduct DWI saturation patrols from October 16 to October 23. Deputies... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:00:00 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City inspectors have issued more than 3,000 property violations so far in 2017, and a new... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:31:00 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- A semi truck crashed over a guard rail on U-63 by E. Friendship Church Rd. late Monday night. ... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A crash on Highway 63 South left two drivers in the hospital Monday night. The crash happened... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:50:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – City council members approved the construction of two new roundabouts near Mill Creek Elementary School following a public... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:20:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An unnamed organization reported to the Better Business Bureau that it lost more than $3,000 from a phishing... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are challenging drivers this week to... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
4pm 72°
5pm 70°
6pm 67°
7pm 64°