Wednesday, October 6, 2010

State Opens California Institution for Men West Facility Buildings

Damaged Dormitories Fully Restored in 13 Months

CHINO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today reopened eight dormitories at the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino that were damaged during a 2009 inmate riot.

“The tragic and senseless destruction during the riot of 2009 will not be forgotten,” said CIM Warden Aref Fakhoury. “Rebuilding the damaged West facility using the Inmate Ward Labor program has contributed to a safer prison environment, all while teaching and motivating these inmates. I would like to commend everyone who took a part in this rebuilding effort.”

Eight housing units were heavily damaged when inmates in Reception Center West dormitories rioted on the evening of Aug. 8, 2009. There were no hostage situations, no escapes and no fatalities during the riot, but extensive repairs were necessary to return to the structures to use.

Immediately after the riot, CDCR began working to rebuild the critically needed inmate housing units. Several of the units were renovated and occupied within 10 months.

The design, construction and reactivation of the entire West facility was completed within 13 months at a cost of $5.2 million.

Following the riot, CDCR began moving inmates from CIM to nearby Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, eventually converting it to a temporary reception center for adult male inmates. All inmates have since been moved from Stark.

Cost to rebuild the dormitories was reduced significantly by using inmate labor from the Inmate Ward Labor program. The program teaches inmates vocational skills that can be used to gain employment once they are released from prison. Inmates learned how to operate heavy equipment and were taught trades such as masonry, concrete mixing, drywall installation, wall texturing, carpentry, welding and general construction techniques.

The rebuilding effort also incorporated improved safety features.

“The materials used during the rebuilding and some of the systems built into the facility will provide a safer and more secure environment for inmates, staff and the public,” said Deborah Hysen, CDCR’s Chief Deputy Secretary for Facilities, Planning and Construction Management. “For example, porcelain sinks and fixtures, which can be broken into sharp pieces, were replaced with durable stainless steel.”

After the repairs were completed, CDCR changed the mission of CIM West from a reception center to a Level II facility, and the inmate population was reduced from 1,298 before the riot to an estimated 960 in October 2010.

“The mutual aid and cooperation by the city of Chino, law enforcement and surrounding fire departments were invaluable during this emergency," said Fakhoury. "We appreciate the long-standing partnership we share with our surrounding community,”

CIM is one of 33 prisons operated by CDCR. It opened in 1941. The peak population at CIM was 6,665 inmates in October 2003. It currently houses 4,751 minimum- and medium-security inmates and employs 2,327 people.