A Look at the Spokane Jail Register of 1900

From looking over a Spokane jail register from 1900, I would say that Spokane was a haven for diverse criminal activity. There were a wide variety of crimes committed by a wide variety of individuals. The criminals ranged from 23 year old housekeeper, Mrs. Chaney Reed, who was arrested for receiving stolen property; to 15 year old clerk, Jay W. Clarke, who was arrested for incorrigibility. There was even a 76 year old laborer named Jas (James) Bird, who was arrested for cruelty to animals. The consequences of these crimes also varied. Many were dismissed, while some paid fines. The Soldiers that were arrested for desertion were sent to Fort Wright. From reading this register I would say that the police did not know what to do with people that were arrested for insanity. There were three men arrested for the crime in January, one was released, one was “delivered to sheriff Cole at the county jail” and the last was sent to the poor house. I find it odd that none of them were sent to Eastern State Hospital, but perhaps they were found not to be insane after all.

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