• May 23, 2024

Where contraband costs more

Inflation photoMaximum security prisoners are paying more than A$20 for a single rolled cigarette in a black-market trade that has emerged following the imposition of a tobacco-smoke-free policy in prisons in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), according to a story by Dan Proudman for the Newcastle Herald.

Such a black-market operation was said to have been uncovered at Cessnock jail on Monday when 15 tobacco pouches, 10 packs of rolling papers and other contraband were discovered inside a garbage bin.

Corrective Services NSW said each of the pouches, the contents of which could be used to make 50-65 rolled cigarettes, could be sold for $300 inside the minimum-security wings of the prison.

But the Herald was said to understand that the same pouches were being smuggled into the maximum-security sections for up to $800 each.

The pouches can be bought over the counter at supermarkets for between A$30 and A$70.

Tobacco has quickly become the contraband of choice within many jails, including Cessnock, since the prisons became smoke free in August 2015.

In the past year, 223 visitors have been banned from jails for trafficking tobacco.