|Security class||minimum to maximum|
|Population||3,357 (112.8% capacity) (as of April 30, 2020)|
|Opened||21 June 1941|
|Managed by||California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation|
California Institution for Men (CIM) is a male-only state prison located in the city of Chino, San Bernardino County, California. It is often colloquially referenced as "Chino". In turn, locals call the prison "Chino Men's" or just "Men's" to avoid confusion with the city itself.
- "The largest Level I inmate population within the California prison system" ("Level I" referring to "open dormitories without a secure perimeter").
- Three Reception Centers (RCs) which "provide short term housing to process, classify and evaluate incoming inmates." Reception Center Central for medium/maximum custody level inmates "receives intake from several southern California counties"; Reception Center East "houses [medium/maximum custody level] Reception Center inmates with sensitive needs, Mental Health inmate/patients requiring an Enhanced Out-Patient level of care and a 100 bed HIV/CID unit"; and Reception Center West is for "medium level custody inmates" who are "waiting processing/transfer to programming institutions."
Population and staffing
As of Fiscal Year 2006/2007, CIM had 2,327 staff and an annual budget of $232.2 million. As of February, 2012 it had a design capacity of 2,976 but a total institution population of 5,266, for an occupancy rate of 177 percent.
As of April 30, 2020, CIM was incarcerating people at 112.8% of its design capacity, with 3,357 occupants.
CIM opened in 1941 and "was the first major minimum security institution built and operated in the United States." It was the fourth state prison built in California (after San Quentin State Prison, Folsom State Prison, and the original California Institution for Women at Tehachapi). Since the California Correctional Institution replaced the original California Institution for Women at Tehachapi, CIM is now the third-oldest California state prison.
In 1970, a commercial diver training program started at CIM. In following years, the program's graduates had much success in finding jobs after release from prison and a recidivism rate of only 12 percent. The program was "closed in 2003 due to budget constraints," but reopened in 2006.
Inmate Kevin Cooper escaped from CIM in 1983. In retrospect, factors that may have contributed to the escape included conviction "under an alias," an undetected "history of escaping from jails and mental hospitals," and "a hole in a fence" surrounding CIM. Three days after Cooper's escape, four people were found dead in nearby Chino Hills, and Cooper was later convicted of murdering them. However, there have been doubts raised as to Cooper's guilt over the years.
In 1987, officials of the city of Chino opposed a plan to build a ward at CIM for inmates with HIV/AIDS because they "believe[d] it would threaten the community." After "Corrections Department officials announced they wouldn't increase the AIDS inmate population to more than 200 men," opposition decreased. The ward was constructed and received its first patients in May 1988, making it the second such AIDS ward in California (following one opened in 1984 at the California Medical Facility).
Shayne Allyn Ziska was a correctional officer at CIM "from January 1984 through October 2000." In 2004 he was arrested for helping the Nazi Lowriders (a white supremacist organization) "distribute drugs and assault inmates" inside CIM. In 2006, Ziska was convicted "on charges of conspiracy, civil-rights violations and violent crime in aid of racketeering" and sentenced to "17 years in federal prison." Ziska, Federal Bureau of Prisons #04299-748, is now at Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood, Colorado.
Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr. was stabbed to death in CIM in 2005. Factors that may have contributed to the killing were prison overcrowding, understaffing, a failure to segregate the inmate in question due to a history of violent behavior, the inmate's lengthy stay at CIM, the inmate's access to a weapon, and the officer's lack of a protective vest. In the aftermath of the Gonzalez murder, CIM instituted reforms. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in July 2007 agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit by Gonzalez's family.
In 2005 and 2007, the state of California proposed building hundreds of new units for mentally ill inmates at CIM and at the nearby California Institution for Women; local officials opposed such plans. A "general acute-care hospital at CIM" had received a license to operate in 1984, but in March 2006 the hospital operating room was closed and in July 2007 the plan was "to relinquish the license" because the facility was not functioning as a hospital.
On August 8, 2009, a prison riot broke out at CIM during which over 250 inmates were injured, and which ultimately took more than twelve hours to put down. The cause of the riot is under investigation. The riot broke out at 8:20 p.m. Although other races were involved the riot was mainly between Hispanic inmates and African American inmates. The prison's damages were severe, bathroom sinks ripped off the walls, fires broke out, and 50 inmates were taken to nearby hospitals. The riot caused a lockdown of the prison and six others in the area.
In February 2010, the youth facility Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility was closed. California authorities indicated they would incorporate the facility into CIM. As of 2017, it remains empty except for an apartment-style housing unit for CDCR employees.
In August 2020, CIM's role as a reception center ended, and it was one of three former reception centers in California that were reclassified. 
As of December 4, 2020 it was reported that the COVID-19 virus had killed 27 inmates at CIM, and the virus had infected 172 staff with 789 recovered cases 18 active cases and 1036 inmates had been infected and had since recovered.
References in popular culture
- The 1966 novel Hard Rain Falling is partially set in Chino when the main character Jack Levitt is sent there after being convicted of kidnapping.
- The prison is seen in season 2 of The O.C. when Ryan's brother Trey is released from custody to Ryan's newly adoptive father, Sandy Cohen.
- The prison is a setting in Season 4 of Veronica Mars. Many past characters from the show are incarcerated there
- The prison is a major setting in American History X, as Derek Vinyard's personality changes as a result of enduring the prison culture and prison rape during a manslaughter sentence.
- The 1955 film Unchained was filmed at CIM and included footage of actual inmates. It concerned reform warden Kenyon Scudder and represented his successful attempts to rehabilitate prisoners. The film is most famous for the song Unchained Melody.
- In the 1998 film The Big Lebowski, the character of Jesus Quintana was said to have served six months at Chino for exposing himself to an eight year old.
- On the crime drama Numb3rs, suspects are often mentioned to have done time at Chino and met criminal associates there. In the episode "Sneakerhead", a suspect is threatened with incarceration in his home country, which "makes Chino look like Chuck E. Cheese".
- In the film 2 Fast 2 Furious Brian O'conner references taking his chances in Chino, as opposed to going undercover with agent Dunn.
- The film Shot Caller initially is set in Chino.
- In the TV series Sons of Anarchy, many characters served time in Chino, including Opie Winston, Marcus Alvarez, Ernest Darby, and Nero Padilla.
- In Thomas Harris's 1981 Red Dragon, protagonist Will Graham interviews a murder victim's son who served time at "Chino".
- "California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Monthly Report of Population As of Midnight April 30, 2020" (PDF). California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Internal Oversight and Research. April 30, 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- CDCR. "CDCR - California Institution for Men (CIM)". www.cdcr.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
- California Institution for Men (CIM) (2009). "Mission Statement". California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Nicholson, Lucy. "My day in a California prison." Reuters. June 6, 2011. Retrieved on May 16, 2013.
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. California's Correctional Facilities. Archived 2007-12-14 at the Wayback Machine 15 Oct 2007.
- "Adult Facilities Locator." California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved on September 24, 2011.
- California Institution for Men (CIM) (2009). "Institution Statistics". California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Archived from the original on 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "WEEKLY INSTITUTION/CAMPS POPULATION DETAIL" (PDF). CDCR. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. California Correctional Center (CCI). Archived 2007-12-16 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 29 Nov 2007.
- Schexnayder, C.J. Diving into success: underwater training helps inmates get jobs. The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), August 28, 2000.
- DeRobertis, Shelli. CIM inmates dive in for a better future. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA), December 1, 2006.
- Stockstill, Mason. Criminal Neglect: Years of indifference turned Chino prison dream into nightmare. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA), July 23, 2006.
- Susman, Tina. Jury urges death in gas chamber for Cooper. Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA), March 2, 1985.
- Associated Press. Chino Officials Object to Proposed AIDS Ward at Prison. Daily News of Los Angeles, November 8, 1987.
- Associated Press. State Sets Up Isolation Ward to Care for AIDS Inmates. San Jose Mercury News, April 28, 1988.
- Leveque, Rod. Guard accused of aiding gang. The Sun (San Bernardino, CA), July 30, 2004.
- "Shayne Allen Ziska." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on September 27, 2010.
- Austin, Paige. Rehabilitating prison: Findings forcing changes at aging facility. The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), September 18, 2005.
- Leveque, Rod. Slain guard's family settles. Whittier Daily News, July 10, 2007.
- City Council of Ontario, California. Resolution To Oppose Proposed Mental Health Facility At California Institution For Men - Chino. Archived 2006-05-19 at the Wayback Machine June 7, 2005.
- DeRobertis, Shelli. Prisons' role to grow. The Sun (San Bernardino, CA), February 1, 2007.
- DeRobertis, Shelli. CIM hospital to forfeit license. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA), July 26, 2007.
- "250 inmates hurt, 55 hospitalized after California prison riot - CNN.com". CNN. August 10, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "A history of housing youth at Stark facility comes to a close Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine." Santa Barbara Sun. February 21, 2010. Retrieved on August 10, 2010.
- Napoles, Marianne (2020-08-24). "Men's prison in Chino is no longer a reception center". Chino Champion. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
- https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/05/11/3-more-inmates-at-chino-mens-prison-die-from-coronavirus/ 4 more inmates at California Institution for Men die from coronavirus
- https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/population-status-tracking/ Real Time CDC COVAID 19 tracking website
- Whitty, Stephen. "Down by Law." Entertainment Weekly. April 9, 1999. Retrieved on September 27, 2010. "The 25-minute black-and-white flashback begins with Norton waking up in Chino, angry and uncowed;"
- Coen, Ethan; Coen, Joel (March 6, 1998), The Big Lebowski (movie), PolyGram and Working Title Films
- Thomas Harris, Red Dragon (Dell Publishing: New York, 1981), 130.