Published on August 5th, 2013 | by Trick1
Vaping Behind Bars: Macon County Edition
Like Sheriff David Andrews of Putnam County, Tennessee, Sheriff Mark Gammons of Tennessee’s Macon County sees electronic cigarettes as a potential solution to several problems — but they may not be the ones you think.
Gammons believes selling electronic cigarettes in his jail’s commissary could lead to better corrections officers.
“Over the past several years, I’ve been trying to get our correction officers from $10 per hour up to a better pay. We have a high turnover rate, probably ten times greater than the deputy and dispatcher turnover rate, and that’s due to pay.”
-Sheriff Mark Gammons
Gammons says that the low pay given to his corrections officers makes his jail a training ground, and officers leave when they realize they would be paid better elsewhere. He believes supplementing the jail’s budget with profits from electronic cigarette sales, which he expects could provide $50,000 per year in revenue, would allow him to pay these officers more and keep them around longer.
Gammons has submitted a proposal to the Macon County commissioners to allow him to sell electronic cigarettes made by CrossBar in his jail. Designed to be used in correctional facilities, the CrossBar electronic cigarette is made from a soft plastic, rather than the hard metal used in most electronic cigarettes.