Thursday, April 3, 2008

CDCR Correctional Staff Attacked by Two Inmates at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi

All adult prisons on lockdown to ensure safety of CDCR staff

Tehachapi – Today, April 3, two inmates attacked correctional staff at California Correctional Institution (CCI). Two correctional sergeants and one correctional officer were taken to area hospitals for treatment of lacerations, stab and puncture wounds. They are in stable condition. A fourth officer was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

“Our foremost concern is for the safety and well-being of our dedicated staff,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those officers injured today at CCI.”

As a precaution, CDCR has placed every adult prison, community correctional facility and conservation camp in California on lockdown until it is determined whether or not the attack was an isolated incident.

“If it’s determined that this incident was isolated, we will begin lifting lockdown conditions at other institutions,” said David Runnels, CDCR Undersecretary of Operations.

The attack occurred at approximately 1:10 p.m. when two inmates – one a known Southern Hispanic gang member – rushed staff in a program office on the maximum-security, general population yard. The two inmates suffered injuries from the pepper spray, batons and physical force used to stop their attack. Both inmates were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

The incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at CCI and agents from the Office of Correctional Safety from CDCR headquarters. Two inmate-made weapons were recovered at the crime scene.

CCI has been locked down as well and visiting is cancelled this weekend.

CCI houses minimum-, medium- and maximum-security male inmates. When it originally opened in 1933, it housed female inmates. An earthquake in 1952 closed the facility. It reopened in 1954 as a male institution. The prison has vocational and academic education programs, houses 4,705 inmates and employs 2,001 people.

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