55 inmates taken to hospital and dormitory burned in prison riot

By Calvin Palmer

Fighting between Latino and African American prisoners at a California correctional facility sparked a riot that saw 55 inmates taken to hospital and a dormitory burned down.

The riot started at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday in the medium-security dormitory-style barracks of the Reception Center West at the California Institution for Men, in Chino, and lasted until midnight, according to corrections Lt Mark Hargrove.

Prisoners tore up metal lockers, destroyed beds and broke off pipes to use as weapons. The fighting quickly spread to other six other barracks.

A fire broke out burning one dormitory. The unit sustained so much damage as to be uninhabitable.

No prisoner officers were injured.

At least 80 officers surrounded the barracks and ordered inmates to come out. Once the riot was quelled, they used pepper spray, batons and foam projectiles to remove inmates who had barricaded themselves inside.

By 7 a.m. yesterday, the barracks were clear. More than 250 inmates suffered injuries, including small cuts, serious stab wounds and head trauma, Hargrove said.

Seventeen inmates remained hospitalized yesterday evening.

Some inmates were transferred to other units of the Chino complex, which houses 5,911 prisoners.

The California Institution for Men opened in 1941 and serves as a reception center for parolees returning to custody and for newly committed male felons from several Southern California counties.

[Based on a report by the Los Angeles Times.]

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