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Monday, March 26, 2018

How in the world can sheriffs be meeting dietary needs?

Folks, we believe the Alabama Sheriffs want us to shut up about the damn inmates.  Some of the actions border on cruelty.  How can a sheriff who houses inmates claim that he cannot feed the inmates nutritional meals the way they are required to eat, as in cases of Diabetes?  What is wrong with these people.  So! Ms. Brown wants her husband to eat properly so she has to feed the entire inmate population?  I hope the sheriff gets an opportunity to spend time in his own jail.  Maybe his wife will get the opportunity to feed the entire jail population.  Some of these sheriffs are the lowest of the low.


Excerpts of this al.com article are as follows:  "In Choctaw County, the sheriff's office received $67,481 in food and service allowance from 2013-2017, according to records compiled in a December report by the state Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.Of that, $42,708 was disbursed to Lolley, and $24,733 was disbursed to former Sheriff Tom Abate. The examiner's records do not indicate how that money was spent."
If this is true it appears there was no money available to feed the inmates.  It appears to greedy sheriffs took the money and told family members they can feed the entire population if you want your loved one fed.  We must keep pushing for our public officials to stand up and take action against those who arrest and house inmates with no incentive to feed them.  Keep reading. Sheriff Ana Franklin turns up in almost all of these stories.
Corruption to the core of many of our sheriff's offices.  Forget the corruption for a minute.  What about the inmates?  If this was a dog shelter they would arrest the scoundrel who did not feed the animals nutritious meals and take her but to court.  Oh! That's right.  They found sheriff Franklin in contempt of court.  

Dietary needs unmet in some Alabama jails as concerns mount on use of sheriff food accounts





A lawsuit, filed in January, requests sheriffs to disclose how they are spending excess jail-feeding money. Several instances in Alabama, highlighted by Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, indicate that sheriffs are pocketing a substantial amount of money. Meanwhile, questions are surfacing about the type of meals, and the lack of dietary care. (file photo)

Glinda Brown frequently made trips to the small county jail in the Alabama Black Belt town of Butler to deliver food for her husband, who nurses had placed on a high-fiber diet.
They weren't cheap visits. Brown's grocery bill for each feeding would cost $50 to $60. And the reason why: She was instructed by the Choctaw County Sheriff's Office that if she brought food for her husband, she needed to bring enough to feed all the inmates.
"Sometimes it ranged 21 to 36 inmates," said Brown, 58. "It got to be pretty expensive."
Choctaw County Sheriff Scott Lolley said he has a policy that allows family members of inmates to bring food to the jail, if they bring enough for everyone.
"Family members are not bringing in food because they are hungry," he said Wednesday. "I can assure you that."
He added, "If you eat the same diet, day in and day out, it gets old. I got churches here that if they decide they have extra food and want to bring it to the jail, I tell them, 'absolutely. Bring it on.'"
In Choctaw County, the sheriff's office received $67,481 in food and service allowance from 2013-2017, according to records compiled in a December report by the state Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.Of that, $42,708 was disbursed to Lolley, and $24,733 was disbursed to former Sheriff Tom Abate. The examiner's records do not indicate how that money was spent.
Yet Lolley said he can not afford to accommodate special diets, such as that for a diabetic inmate.
Dietary needs

Lolley said his small jail staff "does what it can" in addressing special dietary needs of inmates, such as Brown's husband who was in the Choctaw County Jail on murder charges from 2014-2017. In Choctaw County, there is no staff dietician or chef who monitors the type of dietary foods fed to inmates on a day-to-day basis.
"We'll always try to do what we can for them," he said. "If they need something one way or the other, you try to accommodate them. These guys in jail are complaining all the time. They will tell you anything a lot of the times."
He added, "The smaller your county, the smaller your budget. You have to work within your means. If you are in a big huge facility, you have more to work with."
The lack of dietary monitoring at some county jails in Alabama is one of the issues that has surfaced amid growing scrutiny of conditions inside some of the county jails. A lawsuit filed in January by Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice based in Montgomery, has sparked a growing conversation about how sheriffs are handling excess inmate-feeding money.Aaron Littman, an attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights, said special diets are not being addressed at some jails. He said that can become a constitutional problem for some sheriffs.
"Certainly, inmates have a constitutional right to have their health needs attended to," said Littman. "In small county jails as well as in big ones, your constitutional rights are no different. Even in a jail where prisoners are providing the kitchen labor, there needs to be appropriate meals provided."
Healthier meals
Of Alabama's 67 counties, 49 were listed in the Jan. 5 lawsuit filed in Hale County. The lawsuit names the sheriffs in each county, including Lolley, and is aimed at receiving financial accounting and public disclosures on how the sheriffs across the state use the excess jail-food money that is derived from taxpayers. 
The quality and types of foods are not an issue within the litigation.
But Littman said the stories he's heard about inadequacy in the food quality strikes at the core of the current debate over sheriffs pocketing excess inmate-feeding funds.
The issue was illustrated in recent AL.com pieces about the Etowah County Jail, overseen by Sheriff Todd Entrekin. Inmates, past and present, have complained about the substandard quality of the food at a time when AL.com discovered that Entrekin pocketed more than $750,000 in public funds allocated to feed inmates.

"I don't know if this is happening everywhere, and there are 67 counties and variations in the inadequacies of food provided," said Littman. "But we have heard many complaints about food that is not safe to eat or is so unappetizing that they cannot eat it."

He added, "If you spent that (excess jail-feeding money) on feeding people adequately, they would be healthier. That's what the tax money provides for."In larger counties, such as Mobile, a third-party vendor is hired to oversee the meal preparation.
In larger counties, such as Mobile, a third-party vendor is hired to oversee the meal preparation.
Sheriff Sam Cochran said the county, every three years, puts out a bid for companies whose sole business is to cook inside jails and prisons. He said the companies bring in their own staff to oversee the cooking, while inmates help with serving and cleanup.
Mobile County is one of 18 counties in Alabama that have approved a new system to recapture excess inmate food funds. Most of the state's largest counties divert the excess money to county commissions for oversight, such as Jefferson, Madison and Montgomery counties.
"They print out, as part of their contract, the dietary meals and post them months in advance," said Cochran. "We also require, as part of the contract, for them to prepare doctor-directed meals such as low salt (foods) and those type of things."
In Choctaw County, Lolley said that "99 percent" of the food he gets is from the Alabama Department of Corrections. He said family members can purchase foods from a commissary, though Brown said the food prices are almost "triple" the amount someone can purchase from a discount store.
"The honey bun cake, you can get three for $1 at Dollar General, but at the commissary, it's $2 or $3 each," she said.
Questionable law
Lolley, like a host of county sheriffs statewide, are hopeful for a change of Alabama law that would place the responsibility of feeding the inmates with county commissioners.
The Association of County Commissions of Alabama, which represents elected commissioners statewide, said their members are concerned with taking over the liability of feeding inmates. Alabama law has long provided county sheriffs with the authority to administer his or her own jail.
Alabama state lawmakers have said they don't have enough time in the remainder of the 2018 session to write and approve a statewide fix. Instead, lawmakers in three counties - Etowah, Cullman and Morgan - could approve local legislation that would give voters a chance on whether to change the system through separate constitutional amendments during the November general election.
Said Lolley: "If they pass a law, whatever the powers-to-be feel like is right, I would be glad to obey it. That's all I'm doing right now. That's all we are doing is obeying the law."
Sheriffs have repeatedly pointed to a 1939 Alabama state law they claim gives them the legal authority to pocket the excess jail-feeding money. The same law says that county commissions, in each county, can opt to take over the program.But Littman said two Alabama Attorney General opinions state otherwise. The first order, issued by former Attorney General Bill Pryor in 2000, states that the Ethics Commission should be contacted regarding any benefit received by a sheriff from personal gain from his or her food allowance.
A second opinion, written in 2011 by former Attorney General Luther Strange in a Limestone County case, is more direct: Neither a sheriff nor the county can use surplus inmate-feeding money for any purpose "other than future expenses in feeding prisoners."
Said Littman: "The sheriff's position that what is being done is perfectly legal is, at best, dubious or, at the worst, is flat out wrong."
In some counties, a pattern of questionable behavior has emerged among sheriffs who have pocketed the excess feeding money. For instance, in Morgan County, former Sheriff Greg Bartlett was found in contempt of court in 2009 and jailed for one night after it was learned that he pocketed more than $200,000 from the food money. Inmates, the judge learned, had been eating corn dogs twice a day for weeks.
His successor, Sheriff Ana Franklin, was found in contempt of court last year for loaning $150,000 of the jail's inmate feeding funds to invest in a crooked used car dealership.
In Etowah County, Entrekin reportedly pocketed $250,000 during each of the past three years by running the jail food program. In an AL.com story last week, it was revealed that he recently spent $740,000 to purchase a four-bedroom beach house in Baldwin County.
Entrekin earns around $93,178 annually.
Lolley said now most sheriffs want to get away from a practice that has generated embarrassing headlines.
"I think you'd find out that is what most sheriffs in Alabama ... that is their opinion on this matter," said Lolley. "If you pass me a state law, making it whatever you feel is right, I'd be glad to obey it."

7 comments:

  1. I’m just obeying I’d be glad to obey a new law What about the lack of ethical behavior?

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    1. It is an excuse. You know it and I know it.

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  2. Sounds like a bunch of loser people trying to cover up their corrupt sherrif Dept to me.

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  3. Lock them all up. Do not use your office for personal gain. Wake up al sheriffs. Do not buy your wife bmw with stolen money. Do not invest into a convicted felons car lot. Do not build lavish beach houses on federal money. Time for law to change asap

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  4. Do not buy your wife a set of boobs on fed inmate food funds. We trust you as law abiding sheriffs to do the right thing and you have failed.

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  5. Take care of your deputies scumbags. They are the ones making your fat sorry asses famous while y'all sit around and wonder how you can take care of your lavish lifestyle you were not sworn into office to serve and protect and live a life of luxury off fed funds.

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  6. Hope the Attorney General of Alabama makes an example of Ana and gang on ethics violations. Will she resign already?

    ReplyDelete