WINNIPEG – Staff at Headingly jail have started confiscating Bibles after discovering prisoners were using the pages for roll-your-own smokes.
The provincial jails are supposed to be tobacco-free, but enterprising inmates have come up with their own smokes – a combination of leaves from tea bags and Nicorette gum that is boiled, dried and rolled in the thin pages of the New or Old Testament.
“It’s very difficult to catch them because they’re very discreet,” said Cathy Sandney, the prison’s superintendent.
“They may have to pay for it. Normally, there’s a consequence when you destroy government property.”
A spokesman for Gideons International, the non-profit organization that puts the Bibles in jails, said he would gladly bring replacement Bibles for the ones which had been torn up.
“They’ve destroyed about 50 Bibles,” said Ron Muir. “They’re going to need more Bibles and I’ll bring them more.”
Inmate Robert Mayo said he objects to the seizure of the Bibles.
“They shouldn’t be doing this because the Bible will show (inmates) another path instead of the one they’re following now,” Mayo said. “I believe that’s what society wants as well.”