A smoking ban at 18 prisons in Quebec was reversed this week after a riot by prisoners.
On Tuesday, smoking was banned both inside and outside of Quebec's 18 prisons. Just before midnight on Thursday, 30-50 prisoners rioted and set fire to a wing at the Orsainville detention centre near Quebec City. This was met by a statement from Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis the morning after, stating that prisoners would be allowed to smoke outside.
Prison guards had widely condemned the ban - around 80% of prisoners smoke and they said they were worried for their personal safety. They had also stated they would turn a blind eye to smoking by prisoners to avoid conflict and due to short staffing. The longest sentence at provincial prisons in Canada is two years, over 70% of inmates are incarcerated for three months or less.