Smoking Ban In Prisons 8-05-05
North Carolina would ban smoking inside prisons under Senate Bill 1130, which received final approval by the House on Thursday. Superintendents in at least 51 of the state's 76 prisons already bar indoor smoking by prisoners and Correction Department employees. The remaining prisons would have to prohibit smoking by Jan. 1, 2006 if the bill is signed into law. Smoking still would be allowed in prison yards. Senate Bill 1130 also orders the department to ban smoking completely in at least one prison as a pilot project and report to the General Assembly on how it was implemented. The officials also would tell lawmakers by early 2007 about the feasibility of banning tobacco at all prisons. The state would also provide optional programs to help staff and prisoners quit smoking. The Senate already passed a similar version.