E-cigarette sales to boost revenues at county jail

Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 8:08 am

With the expectation of generating at least $60,000 in revenue per year, county officials have approved the sale of electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, to inmates at the Lincoln County Jail.

Revenue generated by selling the e-cigarettes will be earmarked for the sheriff’s department and jail budgets and used at the sheriff’s discretion, as long it’s not for recurring expenses such as salaries or pay raises, according to the motion approved by the Lincoln County Commission during its March meeting.

The use of e-cigarettes is expected to have other benefits, too, in addition to revenue, officials said, noting that Sheriff Murray Blackwelder had researched the use of e-cigarettes in detention facilities. The use of e-cigarettes has helped inmate behavioral problems and reduced contraband being brought into jails, he said.

The request was approved in a vote of 20 in favor with two abstentions and two absent during the last commission meeting.

Officials said sale of the product generates approximately $9,000 per month in jails comparable in size to the jail here.

In other action related to the sheriff’s department and jail, officials approved an amendment to the sheriff’s department’s drug fund in the amount of $7,000, which will be used to purchase equipment for its narcotics unit.

Another budget amendment of $2,500 was also approved to cover training costs for the remainder of the year.

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