Winnebago County Sheriff's Police has a new relationship with the federal government. According to sheriff's officers a new program will create benefits for the county and the United States Marshals Service.
"Its kind of a win win for both of us," Winnebago County Justice Center Superintendent Bob Redmond said.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Police can now lodge federal inmates in the county jail.
"The federal government is saving money that they're not having to pay and we're helping them and the courthouse is here," Redmond said.
Prior to this agreement between the county and U.S. Marshals Service if a jail inmate's charges were upgraded to federal charges they couldn't stay in the Winnebago County Justice Center even though their trial was taking place just blocks away at Rockford's Northern District of Illinois Federal Court. Instead inmates had to stay in another local jail like in Stephenson, Boone, or Ogle county. Somewhere that had a partnership with the federal government.
Those jails are all much farther away from the federal court than the Winnebago County jail.
Now that federal inmates can stay in Rockford, it's going to save money like transportation costs to and from court.
"The federal government, one of the things that they looked at other than our state of the art jail and through the inspection, was to look and say ok you are across the street from where our prisoners need to be," Redmond said.
Aside from saving money the federal government is also going to pay the county to house their inmates.
"The federal government has issued, with the agreement a per diem rate of $80 per day per inmate,” Redmond said. “That's going to help defray some of the costs for the taxpayers here and also its a revenue stream that we can use to enhance our law enforcement efforts in the county."
While at the county jail Sheriff's lieutenant Justin Egler said an inmate facing federal charges will get the same meals and services as a county jail inmate.
"Same disciplinary proceedings,” Egler said. “Everything is the same."
Redmond said the federal inmates are no different.
"Currently we have people in our jail and those charges range from multiple murders, down to retail thefts," Redmond said.
The only difference is when it comes time to go to federal court.
"They just have a different way of doing things,” Egler said. “You have to be basically approved to go into their sally port, go into their building. They'll meet you down stairs and take you up stairs."