California’s Monterey County is paying a $1.85 million settlement to a former inmate who was assaulted in its overcrowded county jail, reports The Recorder, a California legal newspaper. Jimmy Haws was on pretrial detention for armed robbery when his cellmate attacked him and caused severe brain damage. The two were in a cell designed for one.
The county settled after one of its own experts provided deposition testimony that would not have reflected well on staffing ratios and housing arrangements at the jail, said Deputy County Counsel Traci Kirkbride. “In a perfect world, they probably should be housed in single cells,” Kirkbride said. Both sides acknowledged that the county sheriff routinely asks for more money to address jail overcrowding, but is rebuffed in tough economic times.