Notice that Randy Ludlow isn’t on this byline.

The Columbus Dispatch?details the problems Ohio’s prisons are having since the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections banned tobacco in all state prisons.

The story largely focuses on the Pickaway Correctional Institution, the same prison as the honor inmates who worked at the Governor’s Mansion, but it makes it clear that the problem is broader than just the Governor’s Mansion:

Inside the prison, a single hand-rolled cigarette can sell for $10; a pack of cigarettes might go for $200; and a can of loose tobacco can fetch up to $300.

“I’ve had several staff members disciplined or resigned in lieu of discipline as a result of the tobacco,” the warden said. “We had one just before Christmas. Twenty-plus-year officer was bringing in tobacco in his lunch … so he could distribute to inmates. Once confronted … and we found it on him, he resigned.”

Tobacco “drops” have been taped to a highway guardrail on Rt. 762, thrown over prison fences and hidden around monuments and in trash cans at state parks, Hudson said. All are places inmates go as part of their community-service work projects.

“There’s not a day … that goes by in this department, somewhere in the 31 institutions that we have, that we don’t find contraband tobacco,” Hudson told investigators as part of an inquiry into an aborted “sting” at the Governor’s Residence in Bexley.

And after hearing this evidence, Thomas Charles called the DRC’s suggestion that the item was tobacco, and thus, no criminal conduct to investigate, was unfounded.

The amount that the Inspector General buried his head in the sand in this instance in unprecedented.? He didn’t just fail to connect the dots.? He declared the dots didn’t really exists, despite everyone seeing them at the time.

  • Drip…drip…drip

  • having just quit smoking myself last month, i can say without fear of contradiction that there is nothing quite as addictive as nicotine, and if you ban it in a prison, the prisoners will find a way to get it.


    and to declare that the drop at the mansion could not have been revolving around tobacco, and was unfounded, is just laughable on its face.

  • mvirenicus

    i've never had great difficulty in quitting smoking. i've done it tens of times. the problem is that i usually start smoking again within 3-6 months. most recently i quit smoking in the middle of last december. i started again about a month ago.

    i recently heard an interesting theory about genetic predisposition to nicotine addiction. according to this theory smokers tend to trace their roots to geographic regions with tumultuous histories — wars, conflict, famine, etc… their genetic history is bound with high stress vigilance so that even when they might live in relatively stress-free modern environments there is a part of their brain on constant high-alert that can only be relieved by a drug like nicotine. something like that… 🙂

    banning tobacco in prisons. right.

  • nation

    i still smoke though minimally, there is nicotine in Tomatoes, and other vegetable matter.

    “If you spend three hours in a room with minimal tobacco smoke, you get about the same amount amount of nicotine in 5 oz. of potatoes, 8 1/2 oz. ripe tomatoes, 9 1/2 oz. cauliflower, and 1/3 oz. eggplant. Cooking decreases some of the nicotine. These results are appearing in medical journals (e.g. The New England Journal of Medicine) “

    Tobacco got me to stop eating animal products. I respect it. I had nightmares of having smoked on a cigarette. It was crazy. I would think it more important to fear metabolic substrates of meat eating and fatty deposits on lungs from animal products that draw toxins minerals and the seed bed of cancer.

    I still smoked and stopped getting bronchitis. I STOPPED WHITE SUGAR AS WELL . I am not smoking a pack a day but fear of tobacco is ridiculous as is fear of hemp.

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