Beginning April this year, Virginia Beach Correctional Center in Virginia, USA has joined an exclusive list of forward thinking county jails across the country. Recently there has been an extremely popular new trend sweeping across America’s jail systems causing mass amounts of debates to take place. The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office recently began selling electronic cigarettes made expressly for correctional facilities after an initial survey revealed approximately 85% of their 1,500 inmates wished for these devices to be made available. These e-cigarettes are sold either at the canteen or the online Virginia Beach Correctional Center store for $15 each, with each e-cig equivalent to around 2 ½ packs of cigarettes. Within just the first three months, “inmates and their families purchased about 2,700” e-cigarettes. This money will go directly back into the system to be used for operational costs for the facility and programs for the inmates.

the number of inmate fights has halved since April

Considering traditional cigarettes and tobacco products have been banned from jails for quite some time now, these specialized e-cigarettes have been a welcomed replacement for many inmates. However, at $15 each, inmates have to decide if they want to spend their limited resources on their nicotine addiction or purchase various food items instead. Despite the cost of these e-cigarettes, numerous inmates believe these devices are definitely worth the price and believe they have helped reduce their stress levels as well.

The inmates are not the only ones that have seen a reduction in the stress level since the introduction of these electronic cigarettes. Captain Rocky Holcomb stated that, “the number of inmate fights has halved since April”. He also said that from January 1st to April 26th, there were 73 inmate involved fights, compared to only 34 fights after implementing the specialized electronic cigarettes into the jail systems. Inmates are required to use these devices in their cells only, and so far there have not been any reports or complaints regarding air quality, safety regarding using these devices, or even theft.

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