Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Let them eat cake

There's a very strange law in Alabama that allows a sheriff to pocket the money not spent from the inmate food account. In other words, if a sheriff can feed the inmates in his jail for less than what he's given to spend, he gets to do whatever he wants to with the rest.

In Etowah County, inmates are lucky to get meat once a month or so. More often than not their meals consist of beans and vegetables.

Meanwhile the sheriff, Todd Entrekin, and his wife own properties worth almost two million dollars, including a $740,000 home in Orange Beach.

The good sheriff says he's just following the law and if people don't like it, they can go ask the legislature to change it.
“As you should be aware, Alabama law is clear as to my personal financial responsibilities in the feeding of inmates. Regardless of one’s opinion of this statute, until the legislature acts otherwise, the sheriff must follow the current law.” -- Todd Entrekin
This is nothing but old fashioned graft with the blessing of the legislature. Taxpayer money funds the inmate food accounts. That taxpayer money then finds its way directly into the pockets of a sheriff with an incentive to provide inmates with the least expensive meals possible. Sheriff Entrekin's claims that he has consulted with a nutritionist about the meals he serves doesn't change the analysis.

The fact that he wants us to believe that he is duty-bound to do what he's doing demonstrates either that Sheriff Entrekin is delusional or that he doesn't give a fuck about what happens to the people in the Etowah County Jail.

Over the past three years Sheriff Entrekin has pocketed more than $750,000 from the inmate food account. This is on top of his annual salary of $93,000. That's right, over the last three years he has made almost three times his salary by cutting inmate meals to the bone. Those figures alone should tell you all you need to know about the way things work down in Alabama.

There is no good reason that the person in charge of the jail should have a personal financial incentive to cut corners when it comes to feeding the inmates. There is no good reason why taxpayer money not spent on meals should end up in the sheriff's bank account.

As a postscript, the person who brought this to light was arrested and is now in the Etowah County Jail.

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