Saturday, December 30, 2006

Major Prison Disturbance at the California Institution for Men in Chino

A major inmate disturbance occurred today at the California Institution for Men at Chino where about 800 inmates housed at the Reception Center West Facility began fighting in the exercise yard. Inmates began sporadic fighting about 9:30 a.m. in five of the eight dorms units.

Correctional staff pulled back to staging areas, formed into tactical units, and systematically regained control of the housing areas stopping the inmates from rioting by using batons, O.C. pepper spray, and wooden and foam projectiles. Staff secured the housing units by 1:30 p.m.

Medical staff sent twenty-seven inmates to local hospitals for an evaluation of their injuries, and Institution hospital staff treated twenty-four inmates for minor injuries. One inmate suffered a head injury and stab wounds.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James E. Tilton praised all who assisted today. "I want to thank Warden Michael E. Poulos and the staff at CIM for their quick action and professional conduct in ending this major disturbance. Staff quickly stopped the fighting from escalating which reflects their dedication to duty." He also praised staff from nearby prison institutions along with police departments from the cities of Chino, Ontario, and Chino Hills, and the Chino Valley Fire Department for their assistance.

CIM medical staff treated one officer for heat exhaustion at the scene. There were no other staff injuries. Responding staff contained the inmate fighting to the RC-West Facility. There is extensive damage to the buildings, and an evaluation is underway.

CDCR Administration is suspending intake of new inmates to CIM until the staff complete the investigation and evaluation of the incident.

The Administration placed the institution on lock-down and staff are interviewing inmates to try to learn what caused today's fighting.

The California Institution for Men currently houses 6,396 inmates. It serves as a reception center for incoming inmates from surrounding counties and houses minimum and medium security level inmates.