Jail inmates forced to 'go commando' after being stripped of underwear in bid to save taxpayers $45,000
Last updated at 1:13 PM on 15th July 2011
Prisoners at a Florida jail are being stripped of their free underwear by bosses in a bid to save taxpayers' money.
Inmates at the Polk County jail, Florida, will no longer receive free boxer shorts or briefs, in a move expected to save $45,000 (£27,900) a year.
Sheriff Grady Judd said prisoners at Polk County who refuse to pay for boxers instead will be 'free spirits'.
But the controversial cost-cutting measure could anger equal rights groups as it is only being applied to male inmates.
Shriff Judd, whose previous cutbacks have included substituting powdered milk for fresh in the canteen and pulling down the prison’s basketball hoops, said: 'This is the county jail, it’s not a welfare programme.
'There is no state law or federal law that says we have to provide underwear in county jail, so they'll just be free spirits.'
Inmates will now have to pay $4.50 for a pair of boxers or $2.50 for briefs – or go commando.
'For those who don’t want to pay, they can let the breeze blow up one leg and out the other,' added Judd, Polk County’s sheriff since 2004.
And for those who can afford it: 'They can have any colour they like, as long as it’s white,' he said. 'We give our inmates choices at our jails.'
Female prisoners will still receive a set of four bras and seven pairs of panties for free.
Sheriff Judd presented the controversial measure to Polk County commissioners as part of his budget request for the 2011-12 fiscal year, during which he says he also plans to lay off 11 employees.
He is asking for $126 million, almost $4 million less than a year ago.
Don Leach, a former vice-president of the American Jail Association, told the Tampa Tribune newspaper that the measure might not save as much money as Sheriff Judd thinks.
'He might have to increase his laundry cycle to cut down on unhygienic practices because you don’t want inmates walking around with soiled clothing on,' he said.