Sheriff asks Colbert County Commissioners to take on the task of feeding inmates

Sheriff wants to see the responsibility of feeding inmates taken off his shoulders.

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 4:56 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2018 5:06 PM

The Colbert County Sheriff is asking commissioners to take on the responsibility of feeding inmates.

Sheriff Frank Williamson and 48 other sheriff's across the state were named in a lawsuit by two human rights centers, wanting the sheriff's to turn over personal documents to see if they profited from inmate food funds.

Williamson said when he took office, he took out a $10,000 loan to make sure inmates were fed. He still owe's $4,000 on the loan. Williamson said it would make more sense if the Colbert County Commission took on the task of feeding inmates to avoid lawsuits like the one he's currently facing.

Under Alabama law, sheriff's are allowed to pocket any left over money from feeding inmates. Tuscumbia residents like Mike McCutcheon believe that law should change.

"It opens the doors for those types of lawsuits and so fourth and so on, if you keep it arms length from law enforcement in general, I think it's best for everybody," said McCutcheon.

Williamson said he does not profit off money left over from feeding inmates and still owes money on his personal loan he took out to feed inmates. That's one reason he wants the commission to take on the task of feeding inmates.

Colbert County Commissioners told WAAY 31 they are open to the idea but would like to see the costs associated with taking on the task. They are working to see if they would need to approach law makers about passing a local bill to allow them to take over feeding inmates.

"I do think they ought to visit it as soon as they possibly can especially in light of these lawsuits," said McCutcheon.

Commissioners said they are tabling the issue for now until their budget talks begin this summer. Williamson said if the commissioners do start feeding the inmates, he would want them to pay off the rest of his loan, or be reimbursed.

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