The State Worker

State inmates break out of dorms, start fires, injure two correctional officers in riot


An inmate was life-flighted to a hospital Friday morning after inmates broke out of their dorms at a Susanville facility and some started small fires, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Three other inmates, along with two correctional officers, were transported by ambulance to outside hospitals from California Correctional Center, according to a CDCR news release. The medium-security facility houses and trains inmates to fight fires with Cal Fire.

About 40 inmates were involved in the riot, which started at about 8:30 a.m. Friday after a group of inmates broke out of five dorms and fought with other inmates, according to the release.

Inmates in other dorms tried to break out, and they started small fires inside the facility, according to the release.

The inmates battered correctional officers who responded. Officers managed to quell the violence with non-lethal force and firefighters put out the flames. Inmate-made weapons were discovered, the release states.

Two of the four transported inmates were in critical condition while the other two were in fair condition, according to the release. The two transported officers had non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release.

Another 11 inmates were treated at the facility, along with an unspecified number of correctional officers, according to the release.

The Lassen County facility houses about 4,000 inmates who work with Cal Fire on wildland conservation and firefighting projects.

Wes Venteicher anchors The Bee’s popular State Worker coverage in the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. He covers taxes, pensions, unions, state spending and California government. A Montana native, he reported on health care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.