Is Chauvin's experience in prison unusual?

Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, has been sentenced to more 22 years in prison after being convicted of the murder of George Floyd. It's unclear what Chauvin's experience with this case will be.

Is Chauvin's experience in prison unusual?


Chauvin was convicted in April and has been kept at Oak Park Heights, the state's maximum security prison.

This is unusual as people rarely go to prison while they wait for sentencing. Chauvin is there to protect his family.

For safety and security, most state prisons provide a separate unit for inmates.

Oak Park Heights is home to what the Department of Corrections describes as Minnesota's most secure unit. It can be used for security or disciplinary reasons to seperate individuals from other prisoners in the prison.


The state provided photos showing an empty cell with white cinderblock walls and rectangular windows. It also has a metal toilet, sink, and thin mattress on a fixed frame.

Chauvin is kept in that cell for security purposes since his conviction. He sleeps alone in a 10-foot-by-10-foot cell, which is monitored by corrections staff via video and in-person inspections. He is fed in his own room, and has a solitary exercise session for about an hour each day.

Sarah Fitzgerald, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, stated that Chauvin can have a maximum of 10 photos and a radio. He is also allowed to eat in canteens. Chauvin can also subscribe to periodicals, and receive three to fewer non-contact visits per week.

She explained that prisons also use a paid system to allow people to receive emails. These are printed and given to the recipients.


Fitzgerald stated that Chauvin was returned to the maximum security prison unit following Friday's sentencing.

She stated that his final placement is still unknown, but that his safety will be our primary concern in determining his placement.

Chauvin can be released on parole if he behaves well after serving about two-thirds or 15 years of his sentence.

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