GEARED UP: Riot police at the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall.
GEARED UP: Riot police at the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall. MAL Faircloughaap

Smoking ban 'bound to end in trouble'

SMOKING bans inside Victoria's prisons and acute mental health wards have increased the risk of harm to patients, prisoners and staff, an RMIT expert on social work has warned.

In the wake of the riot that erupted on Tuesday at Victorian remand centre Ravenhall, Jenny Martin said tensions could be greatly heightened when access to cigarettes was denied.

"Smoking can be to relieve boredom, for stress management, or in response to withdrawal from addiction,'' the avowed anti-smoker said.

"Patients and prisoners may blame staff and become hostile as these people are in the frontline of everyday relationships with people.''

Criminal charges will be laid against the inmates involved in the violent riot.

The prison remained in lockdown on Wednesday after the riot was quelled in the early hours of the morning.

Doors were smashed and fires lit when up to 300 prisoners rioted from midday on Tuesday.

One police officer, three prison staff and four prisoners were treated for minor injuries.

A fifth prisoner needed hospital treatment for a suspected broken jaw.


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