Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has a budget problem. Claiming concern about having to make job cuts in a tough economy or to provide luxury items to inmates, this prison reformer took the path of least resistance. Problem is, to Sheriff Judd, “luxury items” include jail-provided underwear. Seems the prison uniform includes the proviso of “going commando” for the male inmates. Female guests face no such concern and are provided free undergarments and the reason for the different treatment is a tad unclear. Maybe Sheriff Judd is teaching the value of smooth panty lines. In any event, the foundation-free policy is saving his budget $45,000.00 or as Judd puts it “$45,000.00 is one person’s job we’re saving. If inmates want to wear underwear in jail, they can buy it, just like hard working Polk County citizens do.” Lest you think Judd a throwback to the days of Les Miserables, you should know that entrepreneurship is alive and well at the Polk County jail. Briefs can be purchased for $2.54 and boxers for a mere $4.48. And to avoid the tedious chore of having to inspect the skivvies for weapons, male inmates may not bring in their own underwear. No word yet on two for one sales, or if other “luxuries” like tooth brushes and toilet paper will become items offered for purchase at the jail.
Judd’s new policy is right in line with other creative jail reforms he’s instituted, like the necessity or removing basketball goals during Christmas time so the inmates have more time to do push ups and sit ups. Judd also instituted a two dollar a day “subsistence fee” to offset the cost of providing the food the inmates receive again to “honor” the hard-working men and women of Polk County — not those slackers mind you.
Seems taking away a citizen’s freedom isn’t enough for one Florida sheriff, as those under his care are entitled to neither support nor dignity. Should make for an interesting 14th and 8th Amendment case for the local federal district court.
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger