If You Can’t Feed ‘Em, Release ‘Em: Jail Let Inmates Walk Out Because It Didn’t Have Food

Lack of food rations bizarrely secured the freedom of a few prisoners in Alabama.

Police Chief Leon Davis, let go three to four inmates when the Fairfield City Jail authorities failed to secure funds that would ensure the prisoners had decent meals. The incident happened on April 16 and the Chief contends that though they were inmates, none of them were hardened criminals.

“I had no choice but to release them. The inmates were being held on non-violent, misdemeanor charges.”

Those who were charged with serious crimes were transferred to the Jefferson County Jail. Davis added he was forced to release the inmates and hasn’t been able to book anyone since because the law requires that jails adequately feed inmates, but he doesn’t have the money to do so. Other than the food issue, the jail is up to code, he assured. He further added that the lack of food doesn’t mean the crimes and the criminals won’t be dealt with at all.

“If you mess up, we’re going to get you. Let me be clear: If we need to arrest you, we will arrest you. It’s not a free day for criminals in Fairfield. And once I get food, we’ll be back in business as usual.”

Surprisingly, the need to empty jail cells could have been easily avoided if Davis had secured mere $500 that he had requested to keep the bologna sandwiches supply steady. However, he was unable to get the check signed in time to meet the needs of the incarcerated and so he was forced to let the inmates walk and keep the cells vacant until the funds were credited.

Though the Police Chief assured about the jail being up to code, Fairfield Mayor Kenneth Coachman didn’t quite concur. He suggested the building had an issue with leaks.

“We really have to let them go … Because we cannot house them. And hey, they were all misdemeanors. C’mon—we’re not talking murderers here.”

The incident even took a bizarre turn at a weekly council meeting, where councilwoman Gloria Matthews suggested the jail procure meals from a nearby Wal-Mart “until a longer-term solution could be arranged,.” Fortunately, the Police Chief didn’t have to make the trip since an anonymous donor covered for the missing funds, ensuring the authorities could make arrests again.

While everyone agrees jail food isn’t the most sumptuous or delicious, this is simply absurd.

[Image Credit | The Grio]