Making hooch behind bars in Chesapeake

Making hooch behind bars in Chesapeake

Credit: Kevin Johnson, 13News

These ingredients are used to make jailhouse wine in Chesapeake.

Print
Email
|

by By Doug Aronson, 13News Investigator

WVEC.com

Posted on June 28, 2002 at 5:33 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 3:36 PM

During the Martin O'Connell murder trial, a Chesapeake inmate said O'Connell confessed to the crime to him while they were drinking. "The very first time we were in the room, we made up a batch of hooch, jailhouse wine," Luther Polston testified.

Inmates are making the illegal alcohol, using ingredients and supplies provided by the same jail that makes sure they don't have contraband. Things like oranges, sugar, yeast and other ingredients.

How do inmates pull off making hootch when jailers periodically search them? "Since I have been employed here, 30 years, we have not found a way to stop people from trying to make this. However, we've been successful to make sure it doesn't become a consumable type of alcohol," said Col. Claude Stafford, the Chesapeake undersheriff.

Deputies admit they can smell the rotting fruit and can sense when someone might be catching a buzz from their crude concoction. Inmates risk losing jailhouse priviledges if they're caught.

But that's not the only punishment, as Sargeant Mark Kirby testifed. "Most of the time, it gives them a bellyache and makes them sick," he said. All that rotting fruit isn't healthy, which means more trips to the infirmary.

Print
Email
|