Officials believe overcrowding contributed to jail disturbance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials believe overcrowding contributed to jail disturbance

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (AP) - Officials say overcrowding may have contributed to a disturbance at the Hamblen County Jail where seven inmates escaped just days earlier.

The disturbance occurred yesterday in a section of the jail that houses the toughest inmates. Authorities were able to regain control using pepper spray.

The cause of the incident is still being investigated, but the alleged instigators were transferred to the Grainger County Jail.

Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said inmate tempers at his jail are high probably because of their overcrowded living condition. This past week, seven inmates escaped from the jail, but were all recaptured.

There were 69 inmates in the 32-bed dormitory-style annex where the inmates overpowered a guard to escape Tuesday night. But 62 inmates decided not to take flight.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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