Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cuisine at Jail Lands Georgia Sheriff in Hot Water; Ice Cream, Pie, Quiche, Bacon and Eggs Grab Commissioners' Attention

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cuisine at Jail Lands Georgia Sheriff in Hot Water; Ice Cream, Pie, Quiche, Bacon and Eggs Grab Commissioners' Attention

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON and PAUL PINKHAM

WOODBINE, Ga. - Do real jail inmates eat quiche?

It's a question Camden County commissioners may want to ask tonight when they consider approving the budget for the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

According to a review of itemized receipts of the Camden County Jail by the Times-Union, petite quiche appetizers, purchased Oct. 12, are among the questionable items bought for inmates.

The receipts of the jail budget also show the Sheriff's Office purchased 10 tiki torches and citronella on May 18, 2006.

The 2007 receipts indicate inmates are served eggs and bacon or sausage for breakfast on a regular basis. Lunch consists of ham or turkey bologna. Dinner items include fish such as whiting, grouper and pollock, meats such as Boston butt, pork chops, beef round, rib-eye steaks, smoked ham, all-beef hot dogs and turkey breast.

Dessert items, according to the receipts, include key lime cheesecake and vanilla and butter pecan ice cream.

The purchases will make it difficult for some Camden County Commission members to approve the sheriff's budget at tonight's special meeting.

"It begs the question, 'Is this food being used at the county jail or somewhere else?' " Commissioner Steve Berry said. "Are they the most cost-effective food items? Obviously not."

Commissioner Katherine Zell said she was having "a real hard time" understanding some of the items purchased as part of the jail budget.

"They're fed extremely well," she said.

Commissioner David Rainer said the jail food budget is "something they should look at" as a way to trim expenditures.

"I would expect you would get a balanced meal as economical as you can make it," he said. "They shouldn't have feasts. It shouldn't be extravagant."

But Charlene Sears, a commissioner and community relations officer for the Sheriff's Office, said she isn't aware of any questionable food purchases.

Sears said four inmates can be fed with one pound of Boston butt. The fish purchased for inmates is always the least expensive offered by vendors, and the ice cream was a reward to inmates for painting the jail and offices at the Sheriff's Office, Sears said. …

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