Initially, Slevin was awarded $22 million by a jury, but Dona Ana County appealed. The two parties reached an agreement this week.
During his 22 months in solitary confinement, Slevin developed bedsores and lost 50 pounds.
The ordeal began in 2005 when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and stealing a car, which he says he borrowed from a friend. Slevin was never brought before a judge nor was he officially convicted of any crime. He said he wrote letters, begging for help with his depression. The before and after photos show the effect the 22 months of neglect had.
“Why they did what they did, I’ll never know,” Slevin later said. “Walking by me, watching me deteriorate day after day after day, and they did nothing at all to get me help.”
Slevin’s attorney said his client was battling depression at the time of his arrest. His health problems continue. He was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. He also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder due to his time in jail.
Jess Williams, Dona Ana County’s public information director, told NBC News that the jail is making an effort to improve the way it treats prisoners with mental illness.