DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - Voters in two Alabama counties ended the longtime practice of letting sheriffs pocket whatever profits they can generate from feeding prisoners as cheaply as possible.
Morgan County and Cullman County overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments to ban the practice in balloting Tuesday.
The measures were strictly local and won't affect other counties. That means many other sheriffs can continue feeding prisoners for what is sometimes just pennies a day and keeping leftover public funds provided by the state.
A federal judge jailed a former Morgan County sheriff after ruling the practice led to inadequate nutrition for prisoners, and another judge forced the current sheriff to repay some food money last year.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry says the practice created a "stigma" and he supported putting the issue to voters.
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