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8 Inmates Hurt in Riot at Chino Prison

September 24, 2005|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

Eight inmates were injured during Thursday night's riot at the state prison in Chino, and two remained hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said Friday.

The riot at the California Institution for Men started after a fight in the dining room, and involved more than 200 inmates. It was triggered by a "disrespect-and-racial-tension episode" between Latinos and blacks at the facility's maximum-security inmate-reception center, said prison spokesman Tim Shirlock. One guard suffered a minor injury: a strained back.

The prison's east housing unit, which has beds for 270 of the prison's 6,500 inmates, was torn up "pretty good, with broken windows and doors," Shirlock said. Inmates were moved to other housing units.

"There's maintenance work to be done, and we have a bed issue," Shirlock said.

The reception center serves as a temporary home of about 90 days for new inmates from county jails. Shirlock said the reception-center processing includes inmate screening to establish such issues as criminal offenses, discipline history and gang affiliations.

"Reception centers are tough, because you have this mixture of people who are maximum and minimum security," he said. "There are a lot of violent people in there together."

Todd Slosek, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections, said authorities have explored the idea of moving reception centers out of the state's oldest prisons: Chino and San Quentin.

"A riot of this size does cause that concern," Slosek said.

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