July 15, 2011 / 3:32 PM / 8 years ago

Florida jail ends free underwear for inmates to cut costs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - A central Florida sheriff has announced a cost-saving measure that hits below the belt: no more free underwear for men booked into jail.

Starting August 1, the Polk County jail will no longer provide five pairs of briefs to male inmates.

Instead, inmates will have the option of buying Fruit of the Loom boxers or briefs from the jail canteen.

Sheriff Grady Judd said the end of free underwear will save an estimated $45,000 a year in operation costs.

Judd in a statement said, “$45,000 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.”

This isn’t the first time the sheriff has invoked creative cost cuts.

He eliminated peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cornbread, coffee, juice and fresh milk from the jail menu a few years ago, saying if inmates wanted to eat those things they should stop breaking the law.

“We have to provide them with nutritious. That doesn’t mean it has to be five-star delicious,” Judd said at the time.

Under the new policy, male inmates can pay $2.54 for a pair of briefs or $4.48 for a pair of boxers, the sheriff’s office said. Laundry services will still be offered twice a week.

Female inmates will continue to receive five free pairs of underwear for their jail stay for hygiene reasons, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said on Friday.

Edited by Jerry Norton

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