Department of Corrections
Second Kentucky Prison Goes Tobacco Free
Frankfort, KY – Department of Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees and Warden Joyce Arnold of Otter Creek Correctional Complex(OCCC) announce the second of 16 prisons in Kentucky have gone tobacco free. OCCC is a contracted facility managed by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and is located in Wheelwright, Kentucky. The prison houses approximately 456 female inmates from Kentucky and Hawaii.
On October 1, 2006 the facility went tobacco free. “The staff and inmates alike were given a 6 month notice of the intention so they could prepare for the change” said Warden Joyce Arnold. Prior to the October 1 deadline, smoking and non-smoking inmates were involved in frequent discussions on issues that would assist the inmate population in dealing with withdrawal from nicotine.
In addition to offering smoking cessation classes and selling nicotine patches at the prison’s commissary, inmates were given bags of celery and carrots sticks, weekly bags of hard candy and increased recreational opportunities.
According to Warden Arnold, at the beginning of week-three, everyone seems to be accepting and adjusting to the change. The majority of inmates and staff are appreciative of the new policy, sighting an increase in health awareness and improving sanitation at the prison. “I highly recommend every facility go tobacco free,” said Arnold.
“I am quite pleased with the success that Otter Creek has had in going smoke free. This is the second institution that has gone totally tobacco free and I believe it’s a step in the right direction,” said Commissioner Rees. “Hopefully in 2007, we will have additional institutions that follow the example of Otter Creek and the Kentucky State Reformatory.”