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Alabama gov: Jail food funds can’t go into sheriffs’ pockets

July 11, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Following criticism that some Alabama sheriffs profited large sums of money by skimping on jailhouse meals, Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday that the state will no longer give jail food funds to “sheriffs personally.”

In a memo to the state comptroller, Ivey rescinded the state’s 2008 policy of “paying prisoner food service allowances directly to sheriffs in their personal capacities.”

For years, some sheriffs have made extra money — sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars — under a Depression-era funding system that critics have argued gives a profit incentive to feed inmates poorly. A law passed in the days when chain gangs were common, gives sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed each prisoner and another statute said the sheriffs can “retain” excess money.

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