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Valencia County settles inmate’s jail suit for $1.6 million

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A federal lawsuit filed more than a year ago against the Valencia County Detention Center by an inmate has been settled this week for $1.6 million.

A federal lawsuit filed more than a year ago against the Valencia County Detention Center by an inmate has been settled this week for $1.6 million.

In July 2009, Jan Green was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and booked into the county jail.

Her attorney, Albuquerque civil rights lawyer Matthew Coyte, said in the lawsuit that upon entering VCDC, Green’s mental illness was “so obvious a note in her jail file describes her suffering from hallucinations and recommends she see a psychiatrist as quickly as possible.”

The lawsuit alleged that during her time in the detention center, among other things, Green was denied medical care, mental health visits and was kept in solitary confinement for long periods of time.

In addition to the monetary award, the settlement lays out operational changes that must take place at the jail.

County attorney David Pato said the requirements of the settlement are already in place, and have been since before the settlement was finalized.

These policy changes ensure they will never be able to house someone in the cell they had Ms. Green in for longer than 48 hours. She was in there for eight months,” Coyte said. “It was a horrific disgusting place to be.”

Read the Valencia County News-Bulletin’s full report here.

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