Court rules jail food money belongs to Marshall County Sheriff’s Office


The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office recently got control of $23,447.76 for food funds for the jail. This comes after a dispute by the former Marshall County Sheriff who claims the money is his.

Until recently, there were laws giving sheriffs permission to keep extra jail food money. Because sheriffs in Alabama were previously financially responsible for feeding inmates in their jails, they were allowed to keep any leftover food money as income. A new law that was passed in April stops this practice.

Marshall County Sheriff, Phil Sims, said, “Our Sheriff’s Association really pushed this law, the passage of this act, to take the personal responsibility of feeding inmates away from the sheriffs, which  is a good thing.”

In September, before the new law was passed, Governor Kay Ivey and the state comptroller came up with an agreement for county sheriffs to stop pocketing leftover jail food money. Former Sheriff Scott Walls signed the agreement.

“When I took office, I went down to the bank and spoke with them, and there was a question about whose money it was. I believed, because of the agreement in place, that that money belonged to the office of the sheriff to be used to feed the inmates. He said the money belonged to him,” said Sims.

In February, Citizens Bank requested that the court decide who gets the money. On June 10th, the court ordered that the money was Sims’ to use for “preparing food, serving food and other services pertaining to the feeding of prisoners.”

Sims says getting this money will provide some cushion for feeding inmates.

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