Kay Ivey acts to stop sheriffs from pocketing state jail food money

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In two memos sent last Month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Alabama sheriffs may no longer personally profit from a very small portion of jail food funds: those state funds allocated for services in preparing and serving food to people in their jails.

“Public funds should be used for public purposes – it’s that simple,” Ivey had said in a statement.

Yet, some advocacy groups pointed out the fact that contrary to what many believe, the memos did not yet fully fix the problem of sheriffs personally pocketing these public funds.

Which is why on Friday Ivey took additional steps to end the controversial practice.

Effective Sept. 1, Alabama county sheriffs must sign an affidavit to receive state funds that will now include and “oath” and stipulate the funds will only be spent on “food for prisoners in the county jail” and “preparing food, serving food and other service incident to the feeding of prisoners.”

The previous version of the affidavit failed to include such specific details.

“Public funds should be used for public purposes. I issued the memo to the State Comptroller in July to ensure that the public funds available for inmate food and food service are used for only that,” Ivey said Friday in a statement.

She continued, “The new affidavit issued by the State Comptroller’s office is the implementation of that memo and makes it clear that sheriffs are to use the funds only in their official capacity.”

“Thank you for telling the sheriffs that public $ is for public services, not personal profit!” tweeted Alabama Appleseed — a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to work to achieve justice and equity for all Alabamians — who previously pointed out Ivey’s original memo would not correct the issue at hand.

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