Man put in solitary confinement for TWO YEARS with no trial after DUI arrest awarded $22m






I'm always keen to publicize wrongful imprisonment especially after my little run in with the Spanish Authorities 10 years ago! Yes these jailers are inhuman bastards - you have to be to do the job - but take it from me, this case is only the tip of a very large iceberg and if it wasn't for the $22 million awarded, we would never of heard of this story.


Daily Mail

A man who was held in solitary confinement for two years and was forced to pull his own tooth because he was denied dental health, has been awarded $22million for violation of his constitutional rights.


Stephen Slevin, 58, from New Mexico, was awarded the sum of money  - one of the largest federal civil rights settlements in history involving an inmate - after accusing Dona Ana County jail of essentially forgetting about him while he was in custody, not giving him the healthcare he needed and treating him inhumanely.

Ordeal: Stephen Slevin, pictured near the time of his release, was held in solitary confinement for two years and forced to pull out his own tooth
Ordeal: Stephen Slevin, pictured near the time of his release, was held in solitary confinement for two years and forced to pull out his own tooth
Traumatic: Stephen Slevin, looked remarkably different in August, 2005, at the time of his arrest for drunken driving
Traumatic: Stephen Slevin, looked remarkably different in August, 2005, at the time of his arrest for drunken driving.

Outside the federal courthouse in Santa Fe today, Mr Slevin said it was never about the money for him but more about sending a message that prisoners should be treated more humanely.


He still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from what he says was physical and mental mistreatment by corrections officials in Dona Ana County, in the southern part of the state.


He told KOB4.com: 'It was never about the money. We made a statement about what happened to me.



'Prison officials were walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate. Day after day after day, they did nothing, nothing at all, to get me any help.'


The 58-year-old was arrested in August 2005 and charged with driving while intoxicated and receiving a stolen vehicle near Las Cruces.
His lawyer said that, due to his history of mental illness, he was placed into solitary confinement.



Civil rights attorney Matthew Coyte revealed it was here that his client started to deteriorate.



He said: 'They threw him in solitary andthen 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.'
 

While Slevin was in solitary confinement, his toenails grew so long they began to curl around his feet, he developed bedsores, fungus and dental problems and lost a lot of weight, according to the lawsuit.


Outside court: Stephen Slevin said it was never about the money for him but more about making a statement that this was not acceptable
Outside court: Stephen Slevin said it was never about the money for him but more about making a statement that this was not acceptable treatment


Mr Slevin was eventually released after 22 months as a pre-trial detainee and the charges against him were dismissed.


Attorney: Matt Coyte said he had never been with or seen 'a braver man who stood up to these guys for what they did to him'
Attorney: Matt Coyte said he had never been with or seen 'a braver man who stood up to these guys for what they did to him'

'I have never been with or seen a braver man who stood up to these guys for what they did to him. Itaffects everybody and it's not good for this country. It has to stop'

 
It was upon his release that he filed the lawsuit, claiming his rights of due process were violated since he was not given a hearing before being placed in solitary confinement.
The county had recently offered to settle the case for $2million, according to CNN, despite previously denying there was a lack of medical care and that, as government employees, county officials deserved immunity from liability.
Mr Coyte told KOB.com he hopes Slevin's court victory will send a message throughout the state.


He said: 'I have never been with or seen a braver man who stood up to these guys for what they did to him.


'It affects everybody and it's not good for this country. It's not good for Mr Slevin for sure and it's not good for this country. It has to stop.'




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