The California Institution for Men (CIM) is a minimum security facility located in Chino California. Prior to the Chino Hills Murders, concern had been growing within the local community about overcrowding and mismanagement of the facility. There had been 11 prisoner escapes in 1983 prior to Kevin Cooper’s escape on June 2nd.
CIM is five miles from the Ryen’s house.
April 1982 – The CIM comes under investigation after reports that it let a convicted murderer on furlough to shop for clothes for a court date. Eric Sandoval, convicted of murder in 1971, was transferred to Chino in 1980. CIM’s Chief Disciplinary Officer resigns over the indecent.
May 1982 – The CIM comes under an additional investigation looking into charges of criminal activity and fiscal mismanagement. At the same time tighter rules are put in place in response to the Sandoval incident.
June 1982 – Midge Carroll is appointed as Warden of the CIM. She is the first woman to head a men’s prison in the state of California and had been serving as acting warden since April 1982.
July 1982 – The CIM announces it will double up medium security prisoners in cells to increase capacity to make way for an increasing in prisoners entering the system under the state’s stricter sentencing laws.
October 1982 – Race riots between blacks and whites breaks out, killing one and hospitalizing five others. CIM goes on lockdown.
April 1983 – Citing “a tremendous amount of local opposition”, California Department of Correction officials scuttle plan to build a “tent city” at the CIM to house 1,000 new inmates.
May 1983 – Legislation to expand the state’s prison system moves forward while leaving in place an existing law that prohibits new construction at the CIM.
June 1983 – The Chino Hills Murders take place.