In California’s Monterey County, similar political dynamics found in the statewide debate on prison overcrowding recently played out in miniature.

Northern District of California Judge Jeremy Fogel last week approved a $1.85 million settlement with a former inmate who had been assaulted in the county jail. The plaintiff, Jimmy Haws, was on pretrial detention for armed robbery when his cellmate attacked him and caused severe brain damage. The state dropped all charges against Haws after the incident, said his lawyer, San Francisco solo Michael Moore.

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