Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 06/11/2012 08:35:54 AM PDT

Debris fills the prison yard after a riot at California Institution for Men, in Chino, on Aug. 11, 2009. (File Photo)
View: Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown about CIM security

Mayors of Chino and Chino Hills have expressed alarm over recent security cutbacks at California Institution for Men in Chino.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been considering a reduction in staffing on armed and manned towers as well as on armed perimeter patrols, according to Chino Mayor Dennis Yates and Chino Hills Mayor Art Bennett.

While that action has not been approved by state officials, such measures would place residents at serious risk, the mayors said.

Yates and Bennett signed and sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown voicing their concerns.

“We are very aware of the State’s on-going budget problems however; reducing security measures in a prison located within the heart of a densely populated community is unacceptable,” the mayors wrote.

” … any security reductions would be met with great resistance. We will continue to closely monitor this issue.”

Public safety remains a high priority for the department, corrections spokesman Jeffrey Callison said.

“It’s of paramount importance to ensure that inmates do not walk away from facilities and we take that very seriously,” Callison said.

“We have an obligation to staff our prisons at appropriate levels. If our inmate population has fallen significantly that has to have an effect on staffing. If we didn’t reevaluate staffing levels, people would quite rightly be complaining.”

A CIM spokesman on Monday confirmed prison officials decided to not reduce tower patrols after considering to do so.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has reduced corrections officers at state prisons as they decrease inmate numbers as a result of a court order to meet a constitutionally acceptable level of health care.

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