Inmates can buy e-cigs at David L. Moss

Inmates can buy e-cigs at David L. Moss
Posted at 8:27 PM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 08:38:52-05

TULSA -- The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office just recently took over the commissary at the jail and they're upping their game and bringing in new products like e-cigarettes. 

From candy bars to ramen noodles, the commissary at the Tulsa County jail has it all.

"I can really do my time without being stressed out," inmate Benjamin Gibbs said.

E-cigarettes became available mid-September and inmates sure like them.

"I've bought three at one time and I've had them go in two days," inmate Warren Hyden said. 

Documents show the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office charges inmates just over $17 for one e-cigarette. That vaping device costs the agency just $2.05. From November 1st to November 29th, the jail made more than $8,700 on vaping sales and spent just about $1,500 on the product.

"Right now based on our numbers, it's enough to cover the overhead with a little left over," Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado said. "We're kind of breaking even on it."

Sheriff Regalado says the e-cigarettes are helping manage inmates because they're also a behavioral tool.

"We had people that were rolling orange peels in toilet paper and smoking it," he said. That's an issue. So we much rather them smoke a vape than an orange peel."

It also helps those who smoke to avoid going cold turkey.

"People are more relaxed and get along with other inmates," Gibbs said.

"Everything is pretty much decided for us on a day to day basis, so even the most smallest of choice does mean a lot," Hyden said.

Inmates can only smoke the e-cigarettes in their pods.

"Even though it's overpriced, at least they're giving you the option to have it," Hyden said.

Although honey buns are still the top seller, e-cigs could soon make their way to the top of the list at the jail commissary.

Tulsa County is not alone, at least seven other counties across the state sell e-cigarettes.