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Thursday, July 19, 2018

More on the food funds

Blogger Comments:  Folks we are sure that you are sick and tired of hearing about the inmate food funds.  We are too.  It sounds simple.  Just fix the darn problem.  Not so fast because it's not that easy to fix the problem from a statewide standpoint.  It takes the Senate and the House of Representatives that make up the Legislature to change the law.  Our question is why the legislature is so determined to keep an old antiquated law that makes Alabamians look backward to the rest of the nation.  A law that should be illegal, not to mention morally and ethically wrong.  Below the Decatur Daily Letter to the Editor, we listed the House of Representatives leadership and members.  We also listed the Senators by district.  

It so very hard to believe that most of these folks that we voted into office have failed to change the law.  A law that has been on the books since the 1930s.  What kind of people are the folks that we the people of Alabama voted into office?

We have our Governor making every attempt to change the law and a hand full of senators such as Arthur Orr working hard to change the law.  What is it going to take for the people we voted into office to make changes to the law?  Will it take inmates going hungry to change the law?  Nope.  Been there done that?  Will it take sheriffs like Ana Franklin and Todd Entrikin padding their pockets with inmate food funds to change the law?  Beach houses, Title Marts, free equipment from Title Mart such as horse trailers, vehicles, maybe a boat or two to force the legislatures to change the law?  Nope.   Been there done that.  Will it take 49 sheriffs being sued for not releasing funds that are designated by the state as releasable document to change the law?  Nop.  Been there done that.

We need to demand change.  We would love to brief the legislature when they go back into session.  Who are the lobbyist groups that are controlling all of these people that we call our legislators?  How can lobbyists have that much power over the people we the citizens voted into office.   We are not protesters but we all have the ability to call our representatives and demand change.

Note:  Some of these folks have been voted out of office, did not run for reelection, or are in trouble with the law such as Ed Henry.  Many will not be returning to the legislator.  That's a good thing.  It's time for the upcoming legislatures to make changes in the Inmate Food Funds. 

Decatur Daily - Letter to the Editor

Law allowing Alabama sheriffs to pocket inmate food allowance needs to be repealed

To The Daily: Gov. Kay Ivey’s attempt to stop Alabama sheriffs from exploiting a law passed in the Depression era is sizzle lacking substance. For example, the amount of money that would be diverted from the sheriff’s personal account would be about 4 percent of the food allowance. Ivey, a veteran politician, should know her ploy is symbolic at best.
Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said, “The governor’s effort is commendable, but the best remedy is to pass a statute repealing the current system.” Of course, considering reports revealed Etowah County Sheriff Troy Entrekin pocketed more than $750,000 in inmate food fund money, plus his $91,000 base salary. The story exploded nationally and locally. Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, said his constituents besieged and bombarded him. Their plea: Do something about it. Butler introduced a bill designed to close the loophole. But the legislators voted to maintain an obsolete and unjust law. That’s outrageous, but of course, the legislators fare sumptuously.
During Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett’s 2009 trial, Judge U.W. Clemon said, “It’s almost an invitation to criminality, and sheriffs have a direct pecuniary interest in not feeding inmates.” Court testimony from Bartlett’s trial revealed the inmates’ menu. Breakfast: a few spoonfuls of grits, part of an egg, and a piece of toast. Lunch: a handful of potato chips, flavored water, and two sandwiches with a peanut butter veneer. The so-called supper included bits of undercooked, bloody chicken.
Mark the legislators who’re complicit with this scandal.
Marc D. Greenwood
House Leadership

Speaker, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Clerk

Jeffrey Woodard
 Clerk of the House

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