Sheriff looks to state for reimbursement

Above is the current view of the construction of the new Marion County Jail. Groundbreaking at the site was on Nov. 4, 2022. It will be located in Bedford Industrial Park near Marion County DHR. The estimated cost for the facility is just under $17 million.

HAMILTON — Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams is looking to the State of Alabama to help soften the blow of inflation on the Marion County Jail.
The Marion County jail, like any jail in the U.S., is not only in charge of housing inmates, but also feeding them.
Currently, the State of Alabama pays each sheriff $2.25 per day for inmate meals.
However, due to the rising cost of groceries, even for the sheriff’s department, Williams and his staff have been losing money as they try to keep inmates fed.
Williams attended the Marion County Commission meeting held on Monday, Sept. 18, to ask the county commissioners to sign a resolution in order to bring reimbursement funds into the county from the state.
 “It used to be just $1.75, and they upped it to $2.25. This emergency fund that they’ve created, they’ve put in there that we can apply for up to $25,000 for reimbursement,” said Williams.
“My general administrator orders all the food in, and by the time the state pays us their check, what we get paid from the cities is $5 a day for housing their inmates. There’s a shortfall.”
Williams stated, for the past several months, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department has been short $4,000-$5,500 each month due to increased costs on groceries.
“To pay the bills, I have to take money out of the local law enforcement account that I have at the jail,” said Williams.
“With this emergency fund that’s created by the state through legislation, we can apply for it, and I can put that money back into the law enforcement account.”
Williams stated he brought the matter to the commission as he is required to have a joint resolution between the sheriff and the Marion County Commission in order to apply for the reimbursement monies.
Williams also assured the commissioners that the resolution and reimbursement would cost the county nothing.
The commissioners unanimously approved and signed the resolution.

Marion County
Jail Update
The new Marion County Jail in Hamilton has been under construction and is making progress towards it’s completion.
“It’s still going really well,” said Williams. “I’m pretty sure they are behind schedule, but I don’t know how far behind. (But), I think it’ll get worked out.”

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