Sunday, August 9, 2009

Major Prison Disturbance at the California Institution for Men

CHINO - At approximately 8:20 p.m. on Aug. 8, inmates housed at the California Institution for Men (CIM), Reception Center West Facility began fighting in their assigned housing units. The fighting was contained to that facility, which currently houses approximately 1,300 medium security level inmates.

Correctional staff immediately responded, formed into tactical units, and systematically regained control of the housing units, stopping the inmates from rioting by using batons, O.C. pepper spray, less lethal force, and lethal force options. Staff secured the housing units by 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

As a result of the incident, more than 200 inmates have been treated by medical staff at the institution for minor non-life threatening injuries and 55 inmates, with more serious injuries, have been transported to a local outside hospitals for treatment.

No staff were injured as a result of the incident. It has been reported that significant property damage was sustained, including one housing unit that sustained extensive damage due to fire. The incident was fully contained to the RC-West Facility, and has not affected the other facilities of the institution. The institution has been placed on lock-down, pending investigation into the reason for the fighting. As of Sunday morning, all Southern California correctional institutions remain on lockdown until further notice. Visitation has been suspended until further notice at all institutions in lockdown.

Aref Fakhoury, acting Warden for the California Institution for Men praised all who assisted in quelling the disturbance. "I want to thank all of the staff at CIM for their quick and courageous response to stop this major disturbance. Staff's dedication to duty was displayed tonight by how quickly and safely they were able to control the inmates fighting." He also praised staff from nearby institutions, along with police departments from the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, and Ontario, and the Chino Valley Independent Fire District for their assistance.

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

California Institution for Men, which opened in 1941, serves as a Reception Center for parolees returning to custody and newly committed male felons from several Southern California counties. The Reception Center completes diagnostic tests, medical and mental health screening, and literary assessments for classification in order to determine inmates' appropriate institutional placement. CIM houses currently 5,911 inmates and employs approximately 2,100 people.

See update on this story here