One Sheriff in Alabama is finally speaking out against a 1939 law that allows for the state’s 67 sheriffs to keep leftover money the state provides to each municipality for feeding inmates in local prisons.
In 2009, former Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett was himself put behind bars after he admitted to keeping more than $200,000 from the prison’s food budget while the inmates he oversaw were provided with inadequate food. It’s not hard to imagine how such a system could lead to massive corruption. Remarkably, Bartlett may not have actually broken any laws, a point the Alabama Sheriffs Association made to defend Bartlett during his trial.
The current Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey, is calling on the legislature to end the current system in favor of allowing county commissions to oversee the funding. He also wants to ensure that inmates are served fresh, healthy food.
“Incarceration is punishment. I know some people think you shouldn’t worry about what an inmate eats, but I think it’s a moral issue,” Rainey said. “They’re not getting filet mignon, but they’re certainly not (now) being served green bologna, nor will they be served something like that.”