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Inmate Ignored in Solitary for 22 Months Gets $15.5M

New Mexico county to pay millions for mistake


stephen slevinA man who spent 22 months in solitary confinement will receive $15.5 million from the county that held him.

Stephen Slevin — who was arrested for drunk driving in August 2005 — spent nearly two years in isolation in the Dona Ana County jail after jailers separated him due to his history of mental illness, reports CNN.

Slevin’s lawyer says the county “threw him in solitary and then ignored him. He disappeared into delirium, and his mental illness was made worse by being isolated from human contact and a lack of medical care.” Slevin emerged from his extended time in solitary weighing only 133 pounds, covered in sores and suffering delusions.

Perhaps the worst part? The time in isolation was only his pretrial detention. The charges against Slevin were eventually dismissed in June 2007.

He initially won $22 million from the county. However, after the county filed an appeal, his attorney negotiated the $15.5 million settlement.

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