News Releases

Kern Valley State Prison Officials Investigating Deadly Force Incident

DELANO – Officials at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) are investigating an incident that occurred on one of the institutions maximum-security general population recreational yards on April 29, which resulted in one inmate being injured by the use of lethal force.

On Monday, April 29 at approximately 10:46 a.m., four inmates battered a fifth inmate with stabbing weapons on the Facility B yard. Officers responded to the incident  and gave orders for the attackers to stop. The assailants did not comply, which required multiple chemical agents and less-lethal munitions to quell the incident. The assailants continued their attack on the fifth inmate, at which time an officer discharged one round from the Mini-14 rifle. One of the assailants suffered a gunshot wound. The Emergency Response Vehicle, an outside ambulance and a Medi-Vac (helicopter) were immediately summoned, and three of the inmates, including the victim of the attack, were transported to area hospitals. Their condition is not known at this time. No staff injuries were reported.

CDCR sent a Deadly Force Investigation Team to conduct an investigation into the use of deadly force. A deadly force review board will conduct a full and complete review of the incident as well. The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was also notified.

Inmate movement on Facility B has been limited to facilitate the investigation.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses over 3,700 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates. KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,800 people. For more information, visit


April 29, 2019

CONTACT:  LT. John Melvin (661) 721-6314