Ivey: Jail food funds can no longer go into sheriffs' pockets

Ivey: Jail food funds can no longer go into sheriffs' pockets (img:WPMI)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says the state will no longer give jail food funds to "sheriffs personally" in the wake of criticism that some sheriffs profited large sums by skimping on meals.

In a Tuesday memo to the state comptroller, Ivey rescinded the state's 2008 policy of "paying prisoner food service allowances directly to sheriffs in their personal capacities." The directive said the money must go to government accounts.

A Depression-era law gives sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed each prisoner and allowed sheriffs to retain leftovers. Critics argued for decades that gives incentive to feed inmates poorly

Ivey's legal office cited a 2011 attorney general's opinion that funds can only be used for "feeding prisoners." The office said that trumped a 2008 opinion that set up the previous policy.

“I have changed the way these funds are handled because it is the right thing to do. The law is clear, the Attorney General’s Opinion is clear, and now I have been clear,” Ivey said. “ I urge the Legislature to follow my lead and codify this policy into law during the next regular session.”

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