Although jails across the country used to allow prisoners to smoke in their cells at least, they have since banned all smoking within the jails across the country. However, according to a report by the New York Times which was reported on July 19, some jails across the country now allow inmates to buy electronic cigarettes in order to get their nicotine fix. Not only does this help the inmates get their fix but it helps the jail officials make more money and to loosen their tight budgets. Although most jails across the country are allowing this, one state hasn’t started selling electronic cigarettes and allowing their inmates to vape, and this state is Texas.
However, Texas jail officials have stated that this might change soon as they might need to have the ability to make a little extra money selling e-cigarettes to their inmates as well. The large state does, after all, have 245 jails within it, with two jails that do allow access to electronic cigarettes.
According to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards Assistant Director, Shannon Herklotz has stated that it isn’t that it’s not allowed. It is actually up to each individual sheriff to allow it in their jail. They just need to learn more about this technology. Vendor’s are, however, pushing more sheriff’s to allow it in their jails to not only bring in more money for the jail but to also help inmates who are suffering from withdrawals from nicotine.
Also, some sheriffs are not allowing it in their jails because they are afraid there will be fights among those who can afford to buy the e-cigarettes with their commissaries and those who don’t have it, can’t afford it, and want it. This is one of the main reasons why most of the jails in Texas have banned e-cigarettes.
Although inmates don’t get the same luxury of choosing their flavors, according to a Forbes survey, most people who vape prefer juvenile flavors for their e-cigarettes. These so-called juvenile flavors include chocolate, peach, cherry, and vanilla.
For many inmates, being able to vaporize in jail would be a good thing. Many suffer from withdrawals from nicotine when they do go to jail because they are not allowed to smoke cigarettes and having the privilege to vape in jail would help them with their withdrawal symptoms at least.
What do you think about this? Do you think jails, especially Texas where it is not fully allowed yet, should let inmates buy e-cigarettes in jail to help with their nicotine fix? Sound off in the comments below with your opinion on this situation.