A bill to place new restrictions on sheriffs’ use of taxpayer money intended to feed jail inmates passed the Alabama Senate today.
The bill, by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, comes in response to reports of sheriffs in several counties pocketing for personal use some of the money intended for inmate meals. The bill would also increase the state allocation to counties for jail food.
Orr said the bill would prohibit sheriffs from using any state, federal or municipal prisoner food funds for personal use or for salaries in their offices by closing a loophole in what he called an archaic state law.
Orr said most sheriffs have used jail food money properly. But there are documented abuses in some counties, and Orr said he has heard in the last year from people who had to cook meals to take to their sons and grandsons in jail to keep them from being underfed.
In a press release, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor, president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, said the association supports the bill.
“Over the last several years the Alabama Sheriffs Association has sought repeatedly to make this change, but to no avail." Taylor said. "Our hope is that the House of Representatives will bring closure by also passing this bill and allowing us to continue protecting our citizens and making our society a better place to live.”
Here's a link to the full story. BTW, the vote was 31-0!