MILPITAS (CBS SF) – An inmate is being treated for life-threatening injuries after he was found unconscious and not breathing at the base of a stairway at a Milpitas jail early Tuesday morning, Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials said.

Correctional deputies found the 35-year-old man at about 5:40 a.m. after other inmates alerted them that he was outside Barrack 4/5 of the low-security Minimum Camp at the Elmwood Correctional Facility.

The inmate was found at the base of the outside stairway of the barracks, sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Glennon said.

Deputies performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator to try to resuscitate the man. Jail medical staff also administered first aid before he was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

As the least restrictive housing area for the lowest security level offenders in the county, the Minimum Camp allows for greater access to structured and unstructured programming in what Glennon called a “dorm setting.”

Inmates use the barrack staircases as part of their regular movement through the camp, Glennon said.

Sheriff’s detectives and crime scene investigators are investigating the case along with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators believe the man either jumped from the second-story stairwell in an attempt to take his own life or accidentally fell. The incident was not captured on video surveillance, Glennon said.

In April, a 48-year-old disbarred lawyer being held at Elmwood was found unresponsive on the floor of the common area in the M-8 housing unit.

That inmate, identified as Patrick Missud, died at a hospital after he was found with visible injuries consistent with falling or jumping from the second level. Sheriff’s investigators said they believed Missud’s death was a suicide.

Last month, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a $1.6 million project to construct floor-to-ceiling suicide prevention barriers that would prevent climbing along the second-floor walkway and the upper portions at both Elmwood and the Main Jail in San Jose.

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