New Zealand Prisons Ban Cigarettes, Substitute... Carrots?
Cigarettes, at least through lore, have been regarded as the one luxury of prison life. Depicted in film, those long drags looked so satisfying when taken by a man behind iron bars. Prisoners would beg their visitors, not for mama's homemade meatloaf, but for cigarettes. Cigarettes were money in prison; they could be traded for favors or possessions of other prisoners....
But the tobacco sticks will be banned from New Zealand prisons starting July 1, 2011. The substitute? Carrot sticks.
The question: Will two carrot sticks a day quench the desire to smoke or suffice as the new prison currency?
No, it's not a joke, but even the president of the Corrections Association of New Zealand, Beven Hanlon, though it must have been a joke, when he first heard about it. But two carrot sticks a day will be given out to each prisoner daily for the one-month trial to help prisoners with smoking withdrawal.
Hanlon said he'd be surprised if the trial was still going on in a couple of weeks. "I don't think it is one of the (Department of Correction's) best ideas," he told New Zealand's Southland Times, "but it is worth a try."
The "oral thing," as Hanlon put it, will will help with withdrawal. "...if they have got something in their mouth, they won't be looking for a cigarette to put in it."
Plus the carrots encourage prisoners to eat healthy, whereas other substitutes for cigarrettes, such as hard lollies (lollipops), are too sugary.
Source: The Southland Times. Thanks to Steve for the tip!