A riot erupted at the California Institution for Men in Chino on August 9, 2009, and when guards finally regained control four hours later, at least 175 inmates were injured and 55 hospitalized. A fire broke out, and sinks were ripped from the walls and many of the facility’s fixtures were used as weapons. “It looks like they destroyed anything they could get their hands on,” said Lt. Mark Hargrove, a spokesman for the prison, to the Associated Press. “They broke out windows, they pulled out water pipes, they broke off toilets and sinks, they tore doors off their hinges, they broke metal bunks that are secured to the floor by bolts.”

The final damage to housing units reduced the prison’s ability to house 1,100 inmates, who have now been transferred to other California prisons. The California corrections chief anticipates it will cost taxpayers up to $6 million just to begin cleanup and repairs on the facility. Many question whether or not adequate security could be provided in a facility like Chino, which housed as many as 5,900 prisoners. A majority of these security and property damage costs, however, could have been prevented simply by installing vandal-resistant stainless steel wash basins, showers, toilets instead of porcelain or china fixtures. Durable, heavy-gauge stainless steel fixtures, such as found in Acorn Engineering’s Penal-Ware™ line, are virtually indestructible, and able to withstand up to a 2-1/2 ton load (depending on the fixture) without damage. These products, such as wash basin/toilet combinations, toilets, urinals, security showers, drinking fountains, modular service centers and sinks, are made from unified pieces welded together as one seamless unit. This means that, besides being able to withstand high-impact, there are no removable parts to break off and use to inflict injury. The rounded design lacks any sharp edges, so inmates are also unable to fasten anything around the parts, thus taking the control out of the hands of the prisoners entirely.

The $6 million in costs to repair to the Chino State Prison comes at a time when California is facing $1.2 billion in budget cuts. A large percentage of these costs are prevented by updating facilities with products like these from Acorn Engineering Company. With over 50 years of experience in the correctional plumbing industry, we provide savings in cost, environment and, most of all, safety.

Stainless steel vs. porcelain

  • Vandal-resistant and virtually indestructible
  • Prevents injury/promotes safety
  • Eliminates possibility for costly damages
  • Recycled stainless-steel material is ecologically responsible