Ector County Jail Generates Over $19,000 in Revenue Selling E-Cigarettes to Inmates

jail sells vapes

In a surprising turn of events, the Ector County Law Enforcement Center has found a new source of revenue within its walls. Starting from May 8th, the jail began selling e-cigarettes to inmates, and the venture has been met with great success. Jail Captain James McKinney introduced a range of flavors and witnessed a high demand, leading to substantial profits for the institution. This article will delve into the details of this unique initiative and shed light on the financial impact it has had on the Ector County jail.

Meeting Inmate Demand

Under the leadership of Jail Captain James McKinney, the Ector County Law Enforcement Center recognized an opportunity to provide e-cigarettes to inmates as a means to generate revenue. Initially, a total of 2,000 e-cigarettes, comprising five different flavors, were made available. The flavors include regular, menthol, peach, ice peach, and berry. Each e-cigarette costs around $14.

According to Captain McKinney, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with all 2,000 e-cigarettes selling out within a short period. Recognizing the potential for continued success, McKinney placed an order for an additional 4,000 e-cigarettes, aiming to meet the demand and maximize profits. The most popular flavor, according to McKinney, is the refreshing ice peach variant.

Impressive Financial Gains

The sales of e-cigarettes within the Ector County jail have proven to be highly lucrative. In just one month, the total revenue generated from e-cigarette sales amounts to an impressive $19,476.50. After deducting the initial investment, the net profit stands at $11,776.50.

Captain McKinney emphasizes that the revenue earned from this venture is crucial in ensuring the well-being of the inmates. It is mandated that any profits derived from inmate-related activities should be directed back to benefit them. This includes funding for mattresses, clothing, sheets, and recreational items like basketballs, ultimately improving the overall conditions of their confinement.

Addressing Misuse

While the majority of inmates have embraced the availability of e-cigarettes, there have been a few cases of misuse. Captain McKinney clarifies that any tampering with the e-cigarettes will result in penalties. Upon the first instance of tampering, the e-cigarette is confiscated for a period of 14 days. If tampering occurs again, the penalty is extended to 21 days without access to e-cigarettes. In the event of a third instance of tampering, the inmate loses the privilege of obtaining e-cigarettes until further notice.

These strict regulations are implemented to maintain order and ensure that the e-cigarettes are used responsibly and as intended.

Expansion of Inmate Menu

In addition to the successful e-cigarette sales, the Ector County jail has recently introduced pizza deliveries for inmates who wish to indulge in a warm meal. Since its inception on June 4th, the pizza service has gained considerable popularity. Captain McKinney reveals that they have sold a total of 258 pizzas and 334 ranch cups within the first two weeks alone.

The profitability of this new offering is evident, with the pizza sales amounting to approximately $3,000 in profit within just a fortnight. Such high demand necessitates a significant expansion, as Dominos, the chosen pizza provider, now involves three different stores to fulfill the orders.

Investing Profits in Enhanced Security

With the notable profits generated by the e-cigarette and pizza sales, Captain McKinney has identified a worthy investment for the Ector County jail. A $140,000 x-ray machine is the planned purchase, aimed at bolstering security measures within the facility. This machine will contribute to maintaining a safe and controlled environment for both staff and inmates.


The Ector County Law Enforcement Center has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative by offering e-cigarettes and pizza deliveries to inmates. This entrepreneurial endeavor has not only brought in significant revenue, but it has also allowed for the improvement of inmate conditions through the reinvestment of profits. The success of these ventures highlights the importance of adapting to changing market demands and exploring innovative ways to generate income while fulfilling the needs of the incarcerated population.

Matthew Ma