Stephen Slevin, arrested for a DWI and accused of driving a stolen car that he said he borrowed from a friend, was placed in solitary confinement shortly after he arrived at Dona Ana County Detention Center in New Mexico because he declined to post a $40,000 bond. After one medical examination, Slevin, who was severely depressed even before his arrest, was deemed suicidal and placed in a padded isolated cell with no natural light for 23 hours a day. Once in that cell, Slevin faced an insurmountable battle in changing his circumstance, in spite of neglect so severe that his toenails grew to curl around his foot, he pulled out his own decaying tooth and fungus grew on his face. He sent letters saying “I’m afraid to close my eyes” and “I don’t know much longer I can go on.” But the only response he received was greater sedation, his lawyer told NBC News. After two years in this circumstance, the charges against Slevin were dropped and he was released, having never been found guilty of any crime.Slevin recently prevailed in a lawsuit which cost the taxpayers a large, large verdict. Slevin's jailers should be in jail.
[The] evidence included letters written by Plaintiff seeking help, and sick call requests documenting Plaintiff’s suffering from bed sores on his thighs, fungus growing on his face, rotting teeth, pain, inability to sleep and nightmares where he could not sleep. … Medical records kept by the Detention Center similarly documented Plaintiff’s experience of pain and suffering, and the lack of treatment for his many medical and dental conditions. … Plaintiff … spent six months along in his cell with virtually no human contact before his release.
Although first attempting to explain away his lack of recreation time by testifying that Plaintiff refused to come out of his cell, [Detention Center Director Christopher] Barela testified that he would not have put his dog in a cell like Plaintiff’s cell and left him there for a month at a time, even if his dog refused to come out. He admitted that, if his dog refused to come out, he would wonder what was wrong with her and take her to the veterinarian. Barela also acknowledged that he knew it was not acceptable to leave his dog or Plaintiff in the conditions in which Plaintiff was left [...]
With regard to the injurious effects of administrative confinement on Plaintiff, his expert, Dr. Grasisan, … testified that Plaintiff was “more massively impaired by the PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, than [he] ha[d] ever seen in [his] entire professional life.” According to Dr. Grassian’s testimony, Plaintiff’s life “is kind of torture.”