Some local jail inmates have access to March Madness TV - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Some local jail inmates have access to March Madness TV

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Are local inmates getting in on the March Madness? Are local inmates getting in on the March Madness?
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A lot of us may feel prisoner to our televisions during March Madness, but what about the viewers who actually are? KHQ went to four jails in our area to see if local inmates are also getting a piece of the madness.

We learned the majority of inmates in Kootenai, Latah, Whitman and Spokane Counties do have access to TVs. The channels available, and amount each facility is willing to pay for TV, vary between each jail.

"There's not a lot to do when you're here in jail," said Spokane County Jail Sgt. Don Hooper. ” It's pretty popular to watch TV."

There's a lot of sitting when you're locked up. A lot of waiting. A lot of opportunities for trouble. All four facilities tell me TV is a small incentive, with a big behavioral impact.

"In the disciplinary model, you don't have TV," Hooper said.

So, how much is TV costing you the taxpayer? Likely nothing if you live in Spokane County. The TVs they have in circulation are old and used

"It's over the air TV," Hooper said.

The Spokane County Jail inmate TVs only pick up a handful of the basic channels. They do not have access to cable. That means Spokane inmates won't get to watch the Zags... yet. This week's Bulldog action can only be found on a cable channel.

Zag fans in Latah or Kootenai County's however may be in luck. Both jails have at least the basic cable channels.

Whitman County Corrections Officers said their inmates have television access from roughly 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Spokane Corrections Officers said March Madness is already all the buzz in the cells. Corrections Officers said while inmates can catch some of the action, brackets are prohibited.

"I know football is (very popular,) March Madness will be as well." Hooper said.

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