Chew on This
Offering New Zealand prisoners carrots as a substitute for cigarettes is among measures aimed at helping inmates kick the tobacco habit before a controversial smoke-free prisons policy takes effect on July 1. A national directive, leaked from Invercargill Prison to the Southland Times newspaper, instructs staff one “jumbo” carrot is to be sliced into 16 carrot sticks, cut into uniform sizes “to the best of our ability”. Beven Hanlon, president of the Corrections Association, the prison warders’ union, said that when he first heard about the “alternative therapy” he thought it was a joke. “It is worth a try,” Hanlon said. Cigarettes have long been a favourite currency among New Zealand’s 87 prisoners, an estimated 7 per cent of whom smoke. Under the ban, all tobacco products will become contraband.