Federal Judge Jails Alabama Sheriff Who Profited After Inmates Went Hungry

index_sheriffpic2U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon in Alabama took the extraordinary step this week of ordering Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett to be locked up in his own jail after testimony showed that he had deprived inmates of adequate food while profiting from the meager diet. Bartlett personally kept $212,000 in “surplus money” from the meal program.

Judge Clemon held the hearing to determine whether the sheriff was in violation of that agreement with some surprising testimony.
Bartlett is to remain the Morgan County jail until he comes up with an adequate plan for feeding the 300 inmates as required under the 2001 court order.

Clemon correctly questioned the legality of allowing sheriffs to keep the surplus money from such programs, noting “He makes money by failing to spend the allocated funds for food for inmates.”

Yet, 55 of Alabama’s 67 counties are allowed to keep make money operating their jail kitchens. The law pays sheriffs $1.75 a day for each prisoner they house and lets the elected officers pocket any profit they can generate. Alabama should be ashamed of creating such a system that is ripe with abuse and conflicts of interest. I have done prison work for roughly three decades and I have never heard of such a system.

Inmates testified that they had to struggled to buy enough food to survive. They described how they would often received half an egg, a spoonful of oatmeal and one piece of toast most days at their 3 a.m. daily breakfast.

Bartlett insisted that he took steps to vary the meal such as spending $1,000 cost for an 18-wheeler full of corn dogs, which he split with another sheriff. He then forced the prisoners to eat corn dogs twice a day until they were all used. The judge was not impressed with the corn dog diet as a point of pride. “So until they were used up, they became the staple diet for inmates in the Morgan County Jail?” Clemon asked.

Alabama should be subject to a federal investigation for this program and the violation of the constitutional rights of the inmates in their care. Congress should also hold hearings on the matter since these sheriffs received federal funding directly linked to inmate care.

For the full story, click here and here.

23 thoughts on “Federal Judge Jails Alabama Sheriff Who Profited After Inmates Went Hungry”

  1. wow! thundermaker, you sound like an outstanding citizen/person. oh yeah if that went over your head, that was being sarcastic. are you a local? like from morgan county? if not the majority of people here don`t care about your opinions so you can just keep those to yourself. if you are from around here make yourself known don`t hide behind that pathetic screen name. maybe one of these poor poor convicts that you care so much for will get out of jail and come steal,rape,or even worse to you see how you like those HUMAN BEINGS then. You people should move out west or up north if you have so much sympathy for these convicts. have a great day and life

  2. How can that sheriff sleep at night much less look at himself in the mirror each day????? Yes, these inmates are all in there for a reason but they’re still human beings…..and this is not a 3rd world country. 3rd world countries get fed better than this piece of shit sheriff feeds his prisoners!! Maybe he’ll choke to death on a piece of filet mignon sometime??!!! Makes you wonder about the mentality and morals of these people holding positions in office that lets this go on knowingly. For all the bleeding hearts that uphold this type of behaviour, you need to be imprisoned there for just a few days and then come out praising that asshole!!! I’ll bet if it was your son, daughter, mother, father, any relative there, and you seen firsthand how they was being treated, if you had any guts at all, you’d try to do something about it. You should be outraged even knowing of this treatment. Well, for all the ones that “praise” that potbellied pig, I hope you get a “taste” of what goes on there…then Id like to hear your praise, etc. Seems like all the dumbasses that condone these actions all seem to be in authoritative positions. That so-called sheriff and all his cronies need to be locked in there together and then video taped for a week or two to see how much weight they lose, fed the same diet the prisoners get thrown. What is wrong with you people? Do you not have any balls to stand up and say enough is enough? I guess as long as there’s food in your bellies, then it’s out of sight, out of mind!! Wonder how Bartlett and his followers will answer to their “Maker” in the end?? But I doubt they’ll go “north”(in case this goes over y’alls heads, it means Heaven). Poor ole dumasses….

  3. I really hope you people are not from Alabama. If you really don`t believe in God,I`m sure their is nothing I could say to you to change your mind about your views or religion. I will say this to you, After the last day of your life here on earth you will see that God does exist. Then for all of eternity you will wish you had listened to those who tried to witness to you during your life. I`m far from perfect but I do pray for people like you every day.

  4. Only feed the gentleman corndoggies while he is incarcerated.

    He’s remaining in jail until he comes up with a plan?? Can’t believe they’d let him return to his job.

  5. kenny watson:

    Would your rather progressive view of criminal rehabilitation apply to those persons who systematically torture prisoners and deprive them of basic human rights because the are, as you say, “enemies of society,” for such horrible crimes as violating immigration laws, petty theft, drug possession? We appreciate your service, but your ideas on right and wrong, compassion,and rehabilitation of crimnals seems like they were developed in Iraq too-15th Century Iraq.*

    * From wiki: “In 1401, warlord of Turco-Mongol descent Tamerlane (Timur Lenk) invaded Iraq. After the capture of Bagdad, 20,000 of its citizens were massacred. Timur ordered that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show him (many warriors were so scared they killed prisoners captured earlier in the campaign just to ensure they had heads to present to Timur).”

    I know, I know, I’m just another godless liberal worried more about the rights of criminals than the “good” people who house and feed them after conviction for their transgressions. Kill ’em all, let god sort ’em out!

  6. The biggest issue here is the extra money being kept by the sheriff instead of giving sheriffs deputies bonus checks,law enforcement equipment,more deputies,etc. Not the poor poor criminals. Inmates should only get 3 meals a day if they are outside doing work to improve the county such as road side trash pick up or other labor. I am a Staff Sergeant in the Army and I just returned from a 14 month deployment in Iraq. I did not get 3 meals a day there. So think twice before you side with the enemies of society.

  7. …Greg Bartlett to be locked up in his own jail…

    he had better hope those corn dogs are really gone. Alabama never ceases to amaze me

  8. This sheriff will have no problem being re-elected. He and one of his cronies are the only two who have access to the county voting machines.
    Unfortunately, many people in Morgan County support his actions. However, a few of us thank God for U.S. District Judge U. W. Clemon. Sheriff Bartlett thinks he is above the law but I hope Judge Clemon can prove he is not above the law.


  9. This is not a funny story but I can’t help thinking that maybe Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett is angling to be Alabama’s “biggest loser,” and hence his own prison reality show? The “Green Mile” could be renamed the “Gravy Mile.” Solitary confinement food could be upgraded from bread and water to brie and Chianti. Prison riots could be replaced with food fights. The “hot box”: could be renamed the “Ice Box.” I see endless possibilities here.

  10. So are they going to starve him as well? Maybe if he experienced hunger himself, he’ll think twice about it next time…if there is a next time for him to be a sheriff. Not to mention, he may come up with a better plan much quicker!

    Good luck with his next election! He’ll need it

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