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4 injured in 40-inmate riot at California Men’s Colony

How prison officials see changes implemented to overcome crowded facilities

In a California Department of Corrections video, prison officials talk about changes in the crowded system.
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In a California Department of Corrections video, prison officials talk about changes in the crowded system.

A midday riot at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo has injured four inmates, state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said Wednesday evening.

At 1:13 pm., approximately 40 inmates were involved in the riot in the Facility A yard, a medium-custody area, according to a news release.

State officials offered few details Wednesday but said in the news release that the incident began when a group of approximately 20 inmates rushed a group of about 10 inmates on the recreation yard. Shortly thereafter, a second group of 10 inmates joined the fight.

Correctional officers immediately responded to the area, and gave multiple orders to halt the fighting. When inmates did not comply, officers used pepper spray and non-lethal projectiles to quell the incident.

Officials say that only non-lethal force was used, and at least four inmates sustained slashing or stabbing-type wounds during the riot, with two requiring transport to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

At least two inmate-manufactured weapons were recovered at the scene, CDCR officials say.

No staff were injured.

The incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at the prison, and CDCR says the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Internal Affairs have been notified.

Inmate movement in Facility A has been limited to facilitate the investigation into the cause of the riot.

This is the second known riot at CMC in as many years. In September 2017, one prisoner was killed and multiple were stabbed in a riot that involved some 160 inmates.

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