County jail begins holding federal inmates - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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County jail begins holding federal inmates

One Valley jail had its first federal inmate delivered to its doorstep Friday.

37-year-old Douglas Damiano is a former police officer from Cedartown, Ga.

He's charged with violating civil rights.  He's had nothing to do with DeKalb County, or Alabama, until Friday.

Sheriff Jimmy Harris says his office has worked for the last half year to house federal inmates, and now Damiano's their pioneer prisoner.  

"This is a start, we've got our first federal inmate," says Harris.

"This" includes taking care of food and medical needs for the inmate and also transportation to and from court and custody.

It also means money for those playing host.  

Housing a federal inmate equals about $47 a day for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, and looking at the big picture, it could be a big payoff in the long run.  

"We know this is going to enhance revenue and we'll be able to put this toward public safety in this county," Harris says.

Harris says the potential payoff could be as much as $900,000.

His office initially agreed to take 56 females, but for now they'll take it one inmate at a time.  

"$47 is a good amount, because we've talked to other sheriffs offices that aren't getting that," Harris added.

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