In a horrifying tale of malfeasance, Stephen Slevin spent 22 months utterly neglected in solitary confinement in a New Mexico jail. He was forced to pull out his own tooth because he couldn't see a dentist, fungus grew on his skin because he was denied showers, and "his toenails growing so long that they curled around his foot," NBC reports. Not surprisingly Slevin's mental health "was severely compromised," and his lawyer says that he'll never fully recover.
On top of that, he probably should not even have been in jail, because he was never tried or sentenced. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving a stolen car - but the car turned out to be on loan to him by a friend.
He's been awarded $15.5 million in a settlement with Dona Ana County, but there's still no explanation for why he was so badly treated.
Slevin's lawyer told NBC that he was put in solitary because that's how the jail deals with depressive or suicidal inmates.
In addition to battling mental health issues caused by his terrible experience, Slevin has lung cancer.
A Dona Ana County spokesperson told NBC that no one has been fired over Slevin's treatment, but the jail is making an effort to improve care for prisoners with mental illness.