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Judge approves settlement in jail death of mentally ill man

March 21, 2019

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A $3 million settlement for the family of a mentally ill man who died in jail after being arrested for stealing $5 in snacks has been approved by a judge who called his death “shameful.”

Jamycheal Mitchell had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He died at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail on Aug. 19, 2015. The Virginian-Pilot reports that U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith approved the legal settlement this week.

In court documents, Smith wrote that accountability for Mitchell’s death remains “woefully lacking.” But the judge also said the case has heightened public awareness of the problems of incarcerating mentally ill people.

Mitchell’s official cause of death was heart failure accompanying a wasting syndrome.

Mitchell had been ordered transferred to a state mental hospital, but he was never sent there.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com