Scott Marks 9:44 a.m., May 21
Imperial Valley facility on restricted access after weekend riots send nine to area hospitals
California State Prison officials are investigating a riot that broke out over the weekend at the Calipatria State Prison in the Imperial Valley east of San Diego involving about 115 inmates that sent nine to local hospitals.
According to preliminary reports, one inmate on the maximum-security Level IV yard approached a group of five other inmates with an improvised stabbing weapon and began attacking members of the group. Guards ordered all inmates to the ground, firing a single rifle shot as a warning, though the five inmates that had been attacked subdued the stabber and began beating him.
As others ignored orders, more correctional officers arrived at the yard and used pepper spray and foam-tipped rounds to subdue unruly inmates and quiet the yard. Once fighting was quelled there, another riot broke out in the dining area that took several additional minutes to control.
As a result of the riots, the Calipatria facility has been placed on a modified access program, with access to the 3,500 inmates, 1,700 of whom are serving life sentences (594 without possibility of parole), restricted during the investigation.