Etowah County Residents to Vote on Jail Inmate Food Money


In addition to Tuesday’s Democratic Primary election, residents in Etowah County will also be voting on whether the sheriff can use jail inmate food money for other purposes. Local constitutional amendments would let the sheriff use all left over money on law enforcement expenses if there is a surplus of 25% or more. Sheriff Jonathon Horton wants to use 100% of the leftover money to fund school resource officers at county schools.

Last year, statewide legislation increased the state payment per inmate, per day, to $2.25. Including a $0.05 earmark for kitchen maintenance. The inmate food account was also made public, rather than a personal account to keep sheriffs from personally pocketing any left over money.

Currently, the sheriff’s office, Etowah County schools and the county commission split the cost of some officers. Residents in Marshall County will also be voting on a similar matter.

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