Legislator tries again to get smoking and tobacco products out of Missouri correctional facilities
MDN Menu
MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News

Legislator tries again to get smoking and tobacco products out of Missouri correctional facilities

Date: February 10, 2011
By: Meghann Mollerus
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 445 

Intro: 
Just weeks after an ADA complaint about smoking in the Capitol, a legislator wants smoking and tobacco products out of Missouri correctional facilities. Meghann Mollerus has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:53
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:

Republican Representative Chris Molendorp sponsors a bill prohibiting smoking and tobacco products both inside and outside of state prisons.

Molendorp says the Correctional Medical Services have seen about a 16-million-dollar increase in health care and transportation costs the past two years.

He says most of these costs are attributed to smoking and tobacco use in the facilities.

 

Actuality:  MOLEN1.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "We have a very substantial spike in COPD, respiratory illnesses, asthma, lung cancer, and these are the things that are driving our costs up."

The Missouri Corrections Officers Association opposes the bill, arguing prisoners will traffic tobacco products into the prison.

The association opposed similar legislation proposed by Molendorp last year.  It argues health care costs are rising for everyone, and tobacco-related diseases are not causing the large increase.

From the state capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

Intro: 
A Missouri representative wants smoking and tobacco products completely out of state correctional facilities. Meghann Mollerus has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:49
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The Missouri Corrections Association officers continue to oppose legislation prohibiting smoking and tobacco products in state correctional facilities.

The association's Executive Director Gary Gross says he fears a rise in prison violence if inmates are deprived of smoking.

Actuality:  GROSS.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "Our speculation is that possibly assault numbers might rise and also it's just another thing that the inmates are going to try to traffic into the institution."

Republican Representative Chris Molendorp proposed the legislation.

Molendorp says health problems associated with tobacco are driving up health care and transportation costs by 16-million-dollars.

Missouri Corrections argues health care costs are rising for everyone.

From the State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

Intro: 
A Missouri representative wants smoking out of correctional facilities because of increasing health care and transportation costs. Meghann Mollerus has more from Jefferson City.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Republican Representative Chris Molendorp proposes legislation banning tobacco products on correctional facility property.

Molendorp says health care and transportation costs have gone up by about 16-million-dollars over the past two years.

Actuality:  MOLEN2.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: "We're seeing a spike in inmate health care. This is a direct correlation over the long term...a direct correlation of their general health condition and the amount of money taxpayers are spending to care for them."

The Missouri Corrections Officers Association says this type of legislation would cause prison violence among inmates and increase tobacco trafficking.

The association opposed similar legislation proposed by Molendorp last year. 

It believes rising health care costs are not associated with tobacco-related health problems.

From the State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.

 


Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.