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Inmate demands refund for milkshake

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Prison inmate Ricky Clauff just wanted a little justice. When Clauff was in Hall County jail in April, early one week he ordered a milkshake from the jail commissary and paid $11.25 for the regular Friday delivery.

But before he got a chance to savor the treat, he was transferred to the state prison in Tecumseh to do his time for theft and forgery.

Clauff's two requests to Hall County for a refund were denied, so he filed a claim against the county.

County officials have no certain idea when a state inmate may be transferred, they say, so prisoners who order the special commissary items risk losing their money.

The jail, which used to operate the commissary, never granted a commissary refund because its order forms warned inmates of the risk, said Hall County Corrections Director Fred Ruiz.

But a vendor now runs the commissary, and its forms don't make it clear to inmates that they could be transferred before their orders are delivered.

Consequently, Ruiz said, Clauff probably had a legitimate beef.

Ruiz talked to the vendor, which agreed to change its order forms and refund $11.25 to Clauff.

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