Cullman County Detention Center

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office will be keeping a little more of the total money the county receives through its ongoing arrangement to house federal inmates.

The Cullman County Commission approved this week a renegotiated contract with the U.S. Marshals Service, which pays the county $40.26 per day for each federal inmate housed at the Cullman County Detention Center. The new contract also raises the maximum number of federal inmates allowed as part of the center’s overall inmate census.

Previously, the sheriff’s office kept 40 percent of the revenue left from federal inmate housing, while the county commission took 60 percent. Under the new contract, that split now becomes a 50-50 share, giving the sheriff’s office a bigger piece.

Built in 2005, the detention center was designed from the start to accommodate federal inmates as a portion of its overall population. Sheriff Matt Gentry said the facility’s construction costs have been paid down thanks to the funds the sheriff’s office receives from federal inmate housing.

“It’s how we’ve paid for the jail over the years,” he said. “Using the federal inmate funds has been how we’ve kept the burden away from our taxpayers. Instead of using taxpayer money, we’ve used federal inmate money. It supported building the facility, and took nothing away from the local tax base.”

The detention center typically retains a total inmate population of approximately 320, around 50 of whom are federal inmates at any given time. The new contract allows the sheriff’s office to keep as many as 90 federal inmates at the center at once.

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