Drunk Driver Spends 22 Months in Solitary Confinement

Will My Insurance Pay for Rehab?

Sponsored Legal Stuff - This is an advertisement for Service Industries, Inc., part of a network of commonly owned substance abuse treatment service providers. Responding to this ad will connect you to one of Service Industries, Inc.’s representatives to discuss your insurance benefits and options for obtaining treatment at one of its affiliated facilities only. Service Industries, Inc. Service Industries, Inc. is unable to discuss the insurance benefits or options that may be available at any unaffiliated treatment center or business. If this advertisement appears on the same web page as a review of any particular treatment center or business, the contact information (including phone number) for that particular treatment center or business may be found at the bottom of the review.

Drunk Driver Spends 22 Months in Solitary Confinement

By Nina Puro 03/08/13

New Mexico is ordered to pay $15.5 million to a man who wasted away in jail after a DUI.

Image: 
selvin.png
Don't drink and drive in New Mexico.
Photo via

Dona Ana County, New Mexico, has been ordered to pay $15.5 million to Stephen Selvin, 58, who was left alone in a jail cell for 22 months after a DUI charge. Selvin was arrested in August 2005 in Southern New Mexico and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. But that's just where his troubles began. According to his attorney and court documents, he suffers from depression and was flagged as suicidal on a form, resulting in his placement in solitary confinement. There, he was reportedly neglected, and would go for months at a time without release, even for recreation or a shower. His hair and toenails grew long, he developed a fungal infection, and he lost weight. Selvin was briefly sent to a mental health facility, but returned to prison after two weeks. He was released in June 2007, after 22 months because, according to NBC News, "his mental state deteriorated to the point where he was deemed unfit to participate in his defense." Selvin was never convicted of a crime. A federal jury awarded Dona Ana County to pay $22 million in damages; a $15.5 million settlement was reached after an appeal.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Disqus comments
nina puro.jpeg

Nina Puro is a regular contributor to The Fix. Her poetry and essays have appeared in publications such as Third CoastPleiades and Harper Palate. You can find Nina on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

Disqus comments