Inmates in Lauderdale County may soon be allowed to smoke inside the jails. Officials at the detention center are asking the county commission to let them start selling e-cigarettes through the commissary.
Wayne County TN Sheriff Ric Wilson said his department started their own e-cig program about a month and a half ago, and so far he said they haven't had any problems.
"If you have an inmate that's been smoking two packs a day, then they come in here and all of a sudden can't smoke anything, they get a lot of anxiety and this has reduced that considerably," he said.
Wilson said his department researched the program from other jails and decided to give it a try.
"It helps keep the population kind of quiet, plus it reduces contraband, because they will try every way in the world to sneak cigarettes in," he explained.
Each e-cigarette costs $10 and is good for about 250 puffs. The version sold in the commissary is specifically designed for use in correctional facilities.
"The e-cigarettes that the general public can buy has a metal casing in it. These have nothing but plastic; there's nothing they can use to make a shank or any type of weapon. I think it's a good program. Lauderdale County is our sister county as well, and it's working. As long as it's working, we'll continue to use it.
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