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Smoking Ban Collapses Fragile Prison Economy

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Smoking Ban Collapses Fragile Prison Economy

SOLEDAD, CA—A pen-wide smoking ban instituted last week devastated the Salinas Valley State Prison's fragile economy, inmate #67545 said Monday. "There were occasional fluctuations or recalibrations, but a bar of soap used to equal three cigarettes; a Snickers, four; a Percocet, 15," said Kenneth Oglivy, a former WorldCom accountant serving 10 years for embezzlement. "After the ban, the value of a carton of Newports climbed to 50 times its 2003 value. Now that those cigarettes are gone, it's total chaos." Oglivy said Salinas Valley inmates will have to devise a new system of value based on some other commodity, such as assholes.

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