Some Tennessee Jails Allowing Electronic Cigarettes

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Some Tennessee Jails Allowing Electronic Cigarettes

CREATED May 5, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Some jails in Tennessee are again allowing inmates to smoke -- only now it is limited to electronic cigarettes.

At least five counties, including Sumner, have recently allowed inmates access to the items.

Sonya Troutt, the Sumner County Sheriff's Office's jail administrator, said she thinks the move will cut down on tension and contraband. It also means income for the jail, which gets $5 for each one sold.

“Hopefully it can be used to get them off tobacco when they leave," Troutt said.

The jail began allowing inmates to order e-cigarettes on April 11, and inmate Bryan Neuendorf said he has already seen an improvement in the atmosphere.

“You can see it in the other inmates as well. They’re more apt to sit down and talk and joke. There’s more smiles," he said. “They don’t make the time go by faster by any means, but they certainly make it a little bit easier.”

Officials in other counties said they don't think the items benefit inmates.

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said he prefers to use rehabilitation or education to pacify inmates.

( The Associated Press contributed to this story.)