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.