Spokane Co. Detention Services declares state of emergency, enacts ‘Tier 1 response’

Spokane County Jail looking to fill multiple positions

SPOKANE CO., Wash. — Spokane County Detention Services has declared a state of emergency, instituting inmate and employee health screenings, and restricting all non-essential services at the County Jail.

Effective Tuesday, Detention Services Director Michael Sparber is rolling out a ‘Tier 1 response,’ which is a restriction of all services at detention facilities across the county.

According to Sparber, command staff are currently evaluating the need to lock down the Spokane County Jail or reduce the jail capacity.

All inmates transported to the Spokane County Jail will be screened for symptoms from inside the patrol car. If they test positive, they will not be let in and will be taken to the hospital for evaluation. Employees will be screened for symptoms when they start their shifts, and if they test positive they will be sent home for 72 hours. Employees are asked to not enter unless a sergeant or designee is on-duty to screen them.

Sparber says that all non-mandated training has been suspended, social visits have been suspended, and the inmate shuttle may be suspended—though that is currently under evaluation.

Attorneys and pre-trial services are still authorized, but they will have to conduct all business through the visiting booths.

Sparber says that as developments from the coronavirus continue, he may consider a ‘Tier 2 response.’