Inmates have not been able to buy tobacco, matches or lighters since June 1, and cigarettes are now in hot demand.Ok. So no new cigarettes into prison starting 1 June, with no smoking allowed after 1 July. And the price rises to $300 within a month? I wonder if there's any time series data on those prices. You could likely use them to back out a measure of prisoner time preferences. A non-smoking prisoner could get his allocation in on 31 May then has a choice to sell or hold the cigarette on each day up to 30 June, knowing the value goes wonky 1 July after consumption is banned. Every day the price is higher than the prior day. And it reaches $300 by 30 June. That suggests pretty high discount rates by non-smoking cigarette sellers in the black market, or systematic underestimation of how much of the prison's stock was being depleted in each period. It would be cool to run Hotelling's pricing model to back out implied discount rates.
"Some prisoners have made their normal allowance last more than a week, by smoking half at a time," assistant general manager of prison services Brendan Anstiss said.
"Tobacco has become a more valuable commodity. Those who do have cigarettes are more likely to keep them to themselves."
Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the health and safety-based smoking ban last June, giving a year for prisoners to get used to the idea and try to quit.
The impending ban has already forced a price hike for tobacco on the prison black market, with a packet of cigarettes fetching up to $300, according to sources.
Meanwhile, in Canada, female prison guards in male prisons are being given training in how to avoid having sexual trysts with prisoners. Roissy would likely claim it's mostly due to the alpha nature of many prisoners; I'd worry about the extent to which guards' power was being exercised over prisoners in unwelcome fashion.
Previously in prurient Canadian prison news...