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Ward At Controversial Stockton Youth Prison Commits Suicide

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Stockton, CA — An 18-year-old ward killed himself at a controversial Stockton youth prison, leading to more calls to close the facility.

Joseph Daniel Maldonado was found hanged with a bed sheet alone in his cell Wednesday evening. He was serving a Sacramento County term for vehicle theft. It was the first suicide this year in the youth prison system.

But it follows twin suicides at a different facility last year that helped trigger investigations into the way California treats its young offenders. The suicide comes as a federal judge considers whether prison officials are acting quickly enough to address problems given California´s nation-leading rate of suicides in the adult system.

The suicide was a day after six guards,who were fired after a videotaped beating of two wards at the facility last year, were ordered reinstated to their jobs.