The 2018 Brewer-Torbert Public Service Award luncheon will likely to be held on September 20, 2018 at 11:45am during the Harbert Center in Birmingham. To learn more in regards to the luncheon, including sponsorship opportunities, please visit

Governor Kay Ivey’s Memos Do Not Yet Counter Alabama Sheriffs From Pocketing Jail Food Funds

In two memos sent yesterday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that sheriffs may no more personally profit from a tremendously tiny percentage of prison meals funds: those state funds allocated for services in planning and serving meals to individuals within their jails. As opposed to news reports, these memos try not to yet completely repair the problem of sheriffs really pocketing these general public funds.

In a declaration, Governor Ivey stated: “Public funds should always be employed for general public purposes – it is that simple.” {Although we applaud the Governor It seeks to address while we applaud the Governor for taking a step towards accountability, her directive will have little practical impact on the problem. Associated with technical, but essential. The Governor’s memos just prohibit sheriffs from actually profiting from what exactly is known in § Ala. Code 14-6-43 as “food solution allowance funds”. The memos do absolutely nothing to stop sheriffs from pocketing the far bigger levels of state monies which are provided, per §Ala. Code 14-6-42, for the price of meals it self.

The meals solution allowance funds constitute a part of the amount that is total a sheriff gets. In 2017, over the state, sheriffs received $204,605.10 in meals solution allowance funds, plus the far bigger amount of $4,991,500.50 for food expenses. Which means the foodstuff solution allowance, that your Governor’s memo details, constituted significantly less than 4% regarding the total quantity of state jail meals cash provided to sheriffs year that is last. In a few counties, the huge difference ended up being starker: in Baldwin County, Sheriff Huey Mack received a food solution allowance of $4,106.25, and $293,980.75 to buy meals.

“We agree with Governor Ivey that what the law states will not let the conversion of public funds funds that are are designated by statute for the feeding of prisoners – into individual earnings for sheriffs,” stated Aaron Littman, a legal professional in the Southern Center for Human Rights. “Unfortunately, unless this directive is revised, sheriffs continues to pocket considerable amounts of taxpayer money from prison meals records.”

“For years some Alabama sheriffs have actually mistreated the trust that is public putting personal revenue over fulfilling the essential peoples requirements of men and women within their care,” stated payday loans available in Virginia Frank Knaack, executive director of Alabama Appleseed. “We thank Governor Ivey when planning on taking the step that is first rein in this abuse and urge Alabama legislators to heed her call to get rid of this once and for all.”

Civil Legal help Funding just isn’t an Expense, it is a good investment

by Phil Ensler, Policy Counsel

Victims of domestic physical violence, tenants eviction that is facing and veterans looking for their advantages are among the list of huge number of low-income Alabamians whom get free appropriate the help of civil appropriate help lawyers since they cannot manage to employ their very own lawyers.

Regardless of the crucial dependence on these types of services, Alabama is certainly one of just two states that will not fund civil appropriate help. Alternatively, appropriate help providers in Alabama count on the us government, non-profit businesses, and quite often municipalities for money.

Relating to a study that is recent by the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, for each and every $1 committed to civil legal services, Alabama communities received nearly $12 of instant and long-lasting financial advantages. That is an exceptional return that is social investment of 1,195% that quantities to a value of over $200 million gained from civil legal services.

Despite these advantages, civil appropriate assist in Alabama is grossly underfunded. Alabama may be the cheapest state that is funded civil appropriate help for a price of $9.85 per qualified person. This amounts to 50 % of the national average of $20 per person, and is a contrast that is stark the greatest funded state, that is 11 times more than Alabama. In 2016, $8.9 million ended up being invested in Alabama on civil appropriate help. To be able to meet up with the average that is national Alabama will have to increase its investing to $18 million, and also to completely meet up with the requirements of most qualified Alabamians it can need certainly to invest $45.5 million. By completely funding civil appropriate help, Alabama wouldn’t normally simply be extra cash to ensure all Alabamians gain access to justice, but in addition making a wise investment within our economy.

Funding civil legal solutions yields such a return that is high investment because appropriate help providers represent low-income Alabamians in a selection of areas that affect the economy, including housing, employment, family members problems, public advantages, customer security, and community problems.

These solutions can really help a family keep a roof over their minds and get away from homelessness. For other people, it indicates restructuring crippling financial obligation to avoid financial spoil. This help means a recovery of social security payments or other federal benefits that had been mistakenly suspended for some elderly clients. For many veterans, it secures much-needed and benefits that are hard-earned. For others, these types of services means better, safer custody plans for the kids and sometimes even a long-awaited adoption.

A few of these outcomes strengthen our local economies, assisting individuals stay static in their houses, protect their wages, and resolve disputes that enable them to higher help themselves and add absolutely with their communities. Alabama is smart to heed the findings of this Alabama Civil Justice Foundation research and begin purchasing civil services that are legal.