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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chino city officials up in arms over possible prison expansion

City officials have expressed their objection, even threatening court action, to state plans to add more inmates at the already overcrowded California Institute for Men.

"We surely don't want more prisoners to be brought in," said Mayor Dennis Yates. "It's a general threat to our public safety."

As part of ongoing efforts to improve conditions at California's prisons and to reduce costs, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has said it plans to build a new Level II facility at five possible locations, one of them being CIM.

Level II inmates are the second lowest on the placement and security scale for state prisoners. A Level II facility primarily consists of open dormitories with a secure perimeter possibly patrolled by armed guards, according to the corrections agency.

Depending on available space, the state could build at CIM as many as three 792-bed units or a single facility with a second combining two 792-bed units.

The City Council at this week's meeting authorized staffers to send a letter to the Corrections Department outlining their concerns.

They are also encouraging residents to attend an upcoming environmental impact report meeting and voice their thoughts about the possibility of another facility opening up on CIM property.

Despite sharp reductions in the number of inmates at the Chino prison, its prison population is still at about 160 percent of capacity..…Chino city officials up in arms over possible prison expansion - DailyBulletin.com

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