"1993 Supreme Court decision: Exposure to secondhand smoke constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment."


Current News and Research

Inmates: “Anything Goes on Lumley”

Inmates: “Anything Goes on Lumley”

Dateline Lumley Unit: Numerous women wrote in with very similar stories about Lumley’s lawless behavior. Residents complain about out-of-control smoking; in line to the store, to the chow hall, in the chow hall, on the runs, in the rooms – everywhere! They say there is “no such thing as a non-smoking area.”

Rampant illegal tattooing is taking place while the guards look away. On 9-5-19 Lumley had a “shake” (inspection) and before they were through the first wing, the supervisors had a notebook full of 27 names of people with new tattoos, and a box full of colored inks and tattoo paraphernalia. We don’t know how much they found by the end of the shake.

One inmate recently transferred out of an “overflow room” on “A” yard. She describes a room with no bunk, one dirty mattress on the floor, used tampons and filth littering the area, and an overflowing busted toilet. These rooms are obviously not cleaned between occupants.

Sounds like the Deputy Warden needs to “clean up” this unit in more ways than one!

Elderly Woman Retaliated Against for Second-hand Smoke

Elderly Woman Retaliated Against for Second-hand Smoke

A woman about 70-years old wrote to this website to describe her struggle against second-hand smoke at Perryville. “In 2017 I submitted a grievance against staff smoking out-of-area and in the non-smoking sections of Santa Maria. I had a list of 15 names of officers who completely disregard the policy on smoking, where they were, the time of day, and the camera angles. Within 10 hours of turning in that grievance, I was on the next bus to Santa Cruz unit. The Captain saw me off, shook my hand and told me he was sorry I was retaliated against.

I was happy on Santa Cruz but encountered the same blatant disregard for non-smokers as I had endured on Maria. I compiled yet another list of staff smoking in my face and in front of sick patients at the medical unit. This time I had an audience with the two COIVs on Cruz about my asthma and why this is a serious problem. After all, if the staff can’t follow the law, how can we expect the inmates to do so. They decided I was too much trouble and put me in a van back to Santa Maria.

The message is: “Shut up about tobacco or we’ll transfer you to Lumley or a detention unit!”

I Couldn’t Breathe at Maria Detention Unit!

I Couldn’t Breathe at Maria Detention Unit!

“I was located at this facility intermittently for several months, but I want to talk about my two weeks of hell, where I literally couldn’t breathe.

The girls at MDU (Maria Detention Unit) were getting cigarettes smuggled in. As a result, the air was polluted by smoke. I pleaded to the guard to open the food trap just to get some air. I am very sensitive to tobacco, and at one point I felt like I might be having a heart attack. My heart was racing (confirmed by the nurse,) as I struggled to get a breath. I was in so much distress that an emergency medical incident was called on my behalf.”

Inmate wishes to be anonymous for her protection.

Gassed at Santa Cruz Medical – by T.M.

A guard stationed at complex escorted a patient to Santa Cruz Medical. He stepped one foot out of Medical and promptly lit up his cigarette in front of other patients waiting outside. Several of us are asthmatics and told the guard to go someplace else, as this was a...

State Sponsored Gas Chambers!

Here are 2 inmates with COPD from inhaling second-hand smoke. Both began to get symptoms some years into their incarceration at Perryville. A.G.V: "I am a life long non-smoker. After 10 years incarcerated in Oklahoma, I was transported to Perryville prison. There is...

Interview with Inmate 1997 – 1/12/19

This I/M (inmate) arrived at Perryville in November of 1997. She was 52 years old at the time, and had never smoked. The AZDOC was always lax about enforcing the no-smoking in the room policy, but in the 90's apparently it was non-existent. Her roommates smoke in the...

Prison Tobacco Bans Reduce Smoking-related Deaths

Originally published on AUG. 2, 2016 by Christopher Zoukis published in Prison Legal News August, 2016, page 40 "Tobacco use and secondhand smoke kill over 480,000 people in the United States annually. The mortality rate of smokers is three times higher than those who...

Exposure to Secondary Smoke Can State Claim

Originally published in Prison Legal News September, 1993, page 1 Donald McKinney was a Nevada state prisoner who filed a civil rights complaint against prison officials, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that his involuntary exposure to environmental tobacco...

Official AZDOC policy – D.O. 109 – Smoking & Tobacco Regulations

"Smoking/vaping is prohibited within 20 feet from any building. Smoking/vaping outside is prohibited in any area which may subject normal traffic to second-hand smoke or may result in drifting smoke entering into buildings through entrances, windows and ventilating...


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