Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted last week for the murder of George Floyd, has reportedly been spending 23 hours of the day in solitary confinement while awaiting sentencing. He’s currently being held at Oak Park Heights, a maximum-security prison, and is said to be separated from other inmates for his own personal safety.
- Officers must keep an eye on Chauvin. According to MSN, all of Chauvin’s meals are delivered to his cell and security officers have to check on him every 30 minutes to ensure he’s still alive and well. Not only that, but moving forward he’ll be subjected to a mental health evaluation every three months. These measures are in place “for his safety,” a Minnesota Department of Corrections officer said.
- He only gets an hour out of his cell every day. This hour is to be used for exercise and fresh air, and that hour will also be spent alone in a secure area of the prison yard. “Administrative segregation is used when someone’s presence in the general population is a safety concern,” Chauvin’s spokesperson told the press. “There are 41 people in the ACU and cells are monitored by cameras with corrections officers also doing rounds at least every 30 minutes. He’ll have on average an hour a day out of his cell for exercise (alone). Meals are delivered to his cell. He is in a single cell and will not have contact with other incarcerated people.”
- Will it ever be safe for Chauvin to be in with the general prison population? Given that his conviction could mean he spends the rest of his life behind bars, it’s possible that he may spend the rest of his life alone in a single cell as it seems unlikely that the safety issues will ever be resolved. Even if Chauvin seems to be stable in terms of his mental health and isn’t a danger to himself, it’s likely other prisoners would pose a risk as a police officer who killed a civilian would be seen as a target.
- Chauvin’s sentencing is roughly eight weeks away. It’s unclear at the moment exactly how long Chauvin will spend behind bars and it’s likely his legal team will attempt to overturn his conviction, but it’s likely he’ll spend the rest of his days in a cell. Time will tell.