MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – The Marshall County Sheriff is proposing an amendment to the bill passed in last year’s legislative session that protects jail food funds from being misused.
Sheriff Phil Sims says Marshall County’s Amendment One is a way to permanently fix the jail food money in Marshall County. Sims says it will ensure the sheriff can never profit personally from the fund again. It would also allow any excess funds to be used for the sheriff’s office.
Amendment One will be on the ballot in Marshall county in Tuesday’s election.
Marshall County Amendment One Explained
In 2019 lawmakers passed a bill to safeguard money intended for feeding inmates. Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims agrees that the bill was necessary.
“Sheriffs across the state kept the food bill money for theirselves, as income,” explained Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims.
The problem is that at least 75 percent of any money leftover from feeding inmates must be carried over to the next year.
“The bill only allows for certain things to be used. Once you use it to feed inmates the excess money sits in the account and at the end of the year only 25 % of that money can be used,” said Sheriff Sims.
Sheriff Sims is proposing an amendment to change that in Marshall County. He says all extra money, not just 25% should be available for sheriff’s office use.
“It only can be used for legitimate concerns involving this office, never for personal or for the sheriff himself. This amendment will make it where that money can be used back towards this office to train correction officers, buy the equipment they need. If I need equipment for the kitchen then I can spend it without having to wait until the end of the year to spend it,” said Sims.
Sims says amendment one is also a preventative measure in case the law changes in the future. If passed by Marshall County voters, it would ensure any extra money from the jail food fund stays in Marshall county.
“Our account has built up because of donations and we have been very fortunate. What I don’t want to happen is a bill to pass statewide that says ‘okay you’ve got that much money, you need to give it back to us.’ I want that money to stay in Marshall County,” said Sims.