Jail Director

As Detention Services Director, John McGrath is committed to ensuring the safety of the community by managing safe, secure, humane, and financially responsible Jail and Community Corrections facilities for Spokane County.
Director Detention Services Badge
In 2011, Director McGrath received the Sheriff's Star Award recognizing his leadership role as the Detention Services Commander and his extraordinary efforts in improving the working conditions for personnel and for the efficiencies implemented at both detention facilities. These have resulted in budget savings and a safer environment.

McGrath began his career in corrections with the San Diego Sheriff's Department in 1994. While there, he was assigned to the Detention Services Bureau where he held various specialized positions and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He later worked in the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department in its Jail Division.

In 2006, he was hired as the Assistant Director of Geiger Corrections Center and in 2007 was appointed Director. He was appointed Detention Services Commander in 2009 by the Sheriff and in June of 2013 he became Director of Detention Services under the oversight of the Spokane County Commissioners.


The Director oversees the operations of both the Spokane County Jail and the Geiger facilities. He manages over 300 employees with an operational budget of $35.2 million. His aim is to build high morale in the skilled and well-trained employees under his leadership. By utilizing the latest technology available, his highest goal is to ensure their safety and security. 

At the same time, the Director's goal is to provide safe and humane housing for County inmates and assist them in making positive changes while incarcerated. A large part of the Detention Services department is dedicated to providing Inmate Programming. Some of the programs offered include educational assistance and GED testing, drug and alcohol counseling, anger management, parenting classes, work release, and work crew options.