In fact, the Californias suicide rate is nearly *double* the nationwide prison suicide rate for good reason.
The fact is, California has some of the most severe criminal penalties, including three strikes laws which is likely the reason CA major cities have substantially less crime than major cities in other states.
I hawe heard anecdotal evidence from a guard at San Quentin (the uncle of my ex girlfriend) that one of the drivers of prison suicide is the rape of white prisoners by black prisoners. After the black prisoner has made the white prisoner his bitch and he grows tired of raping him, he trades him, and thus there is no hope of cessation for the white prisoner. Death becomes a good thing.