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Population surges at Spokane County Jail

The three-day holiday weekend has brought so many inmates to the Spokane County Jail that some misdemeanor suspects are being released after booking.

The jail was designed to hold 462 inmates. Any population greater than 600 inmates is considered overcrowded, and the jail limits booking if the population exceeds 620 for more than 24 hours. That happened this morning, Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

The population could decrease after suspects appear in court today. Spokane County Superior Court is beginning its first appearance docket for felony arrests a half an hour earlier in anticipation of a large number of suspects.

As the jail population boomed Sunday night, deputies dealt with more than 20 inmates who were upset when a newly-assigned deputy turned out lights earlier than normal.

The inmates, among 46 assigned to the area, began kicking and pounding on cell doors and trying to flood their cells.

Deputies identified the “ringleaders” and pepper-sprayed one after he refused to be handcuffed, Reagan said.

Jail staff removed three others but “began running out of available cells where each inmate could be isolated.”

The cells remained on lock down today as staff investigates the incident.