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Rep Young Kim Speaks in Financial Services Hearing

Jun 24, 2024 | Press Releases

Chino Hills, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40) wrote to California Governor Gavin Newsom expressing concerns regarding the transfer of 39 death row inmates to be transferred to the California Institute of Men (CIM) in Chino through the Condemned Inmate Transfer Program. 

In the letter, Rep. Kim highlighted the serious safety and security risks posed by the inmate transfer on individuals and families in the Chino Valley community, in addition to the cost to maintain more inmates at the prison, which is already at nearly 140 percent overcapacity. 

Read the letter HERE or see highlights below.  

I write to express strong concerns regarding the Condemned Inmate Transfer Program (CITP), which has allowed 39 death row inmates from the San Quentin Prison to be transferred to the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino. The inmate transfers raise serious concerns about the safety and security of individuals and families of the Chino community. Moreover, Chino area residents should be allowed to provide formal input on whether the death row inmates transferred from the San Quentin Prison can continue to be imprisoned at CIM. 

Unfortunately, the transfer of 39 death row inmates to the CIM in Chino was done without any consultation or notice to local officials and community residents. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the state bear the responsibility of keeping communities near CIM safe from death row inmates. However, Chino Councilperson Karen Comstock has indicated that CIM is poorly equipped to house the death row offenders and has 

cited a 2008 state auditor’s report that the prison needs $26 to 30 million per year to bring it to acceptable standards. Furthermore, as of June 2024, the CIM prison population is at nearly 140 percent overcapacity. It is unfathomable that the state government is transferring death row inmates to a prison that lacks adequate infrastructure and safety standards. 

With the overcapacity of the prison population and the lack of proper infrastructure to house death row inmates, the CIM facilities face a higher risk of violent prison escapes into nearby residential areas. As recently as 2018, a CIM inmate escaped and led police on a fast-moving pursuit in a stolen car until he was apprehended a few days later. The 2018 escape is proof that CIM does not have the enough resources to prevent violent criminals from escaping. 

With these concerns raised, we urge you to reconsider transferring CITP inmates at CIM to prisons with the resources and infrastructure to house death row inmates. Finally, the voices of the Chino community should be heard in the CITP process, and the risk to the safety of children and families in the area should be thoroughly analyzed and examined. Your office must listen to Chino community residents and keep them safe from harm. 

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