From Fox News
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Back in the day of chain gangs, Alabama passed a law that gave sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed each prisoner in their jails, and the sheriffs got to pocket anything that was left over.
More than 80 years later, most Alabama counties still operate under this system, with the same $1.75-a-day allowance, and some sheriffs are actually making money on top of their salaries. But exactly how much is something of a mystery because state auditors do not have access to sheriffs’ private accounts.
How could anyone turn a profit feeding men and women for an entire day on less than the price of a Coke and a bag of Fritos? Sheriffs practice Depression-style frugality and rely on such things as day-old bread, cut-rate vegetables and cheap inmate labor.
Critics charge that Alabama is, in effect, paying law enforcement to skimp on food and may be rewarding sheriffs for mistreating prisoners.
I’ll leave the details of the program to those who can do a little deeper study of it, but the fact that sheriffs are saving money feeding prisoners day old bread is a point in favor of this method, not against it. And using “cut rate vegetables”? Sounds good to me. Prison is for people who broke the law. It is shouldn’t be pleasant. I am not talking about abusing prisoners here. Taking some measures to cut prison costs at the cost of feeding prisoners day old bread and less than prime veggies cooked by other prisoners at prison wages sounds like something more states need to try.