Enjoying leftovers: Sheriffs feed inmates, keep extra cash
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – There’s a move afoot to change a system that lets Alabama sheriffs pocket money from feeding prisoners in jail.
The practice dates back decades, and it’s under new scrutiny amid challenges that include a lawsuit against multiple sheriffs.
Records show some sheriffs pocket thousands annually that critics should go to better meals for inmates.
A sheriff was jailed a decade ago for scrimping on inmate meals, and another was held in contempt for taking money out of a food account. Others have revealed tens of thousands of dollars in profits under pressure.
The head of a state association for counties says groups are working on proposals to scrap the system. But he says that won’t happen before next year’s legislative session.
Lawmakers approved potential changes in two counties this year.
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