NWAC Worried About Female Inmates’ Right To Smudge

Thursday, June 05, 2008 at 15:48



The Native Women’s Association of Canada is sounding alarm bells over the new smoking bylaw in jails.


NWAC President Beverly Jacobs worries the measures will prevent Aboriginal women from performing smudging ceremonies behind bars.


She says her group has talked to some offenders who have voiced concerns.


Specifically, Jacobs is worried prison officials may start to regard traditional use of tobacco in jail as a privilege, instead of a right.


Jacobs says inmates should be allowed to smudge in their cells when they see fit.


Canada’s correctional service began implementing its no-smoking policy in maximum security institutions last month, and minimum security units are set to follow.