Last month, it was reported by CNN that the unsympathetic Dylann Roof, the accused shooter in Charleston, was attacked and beaten on his way to the shower in Charleston County Detention Center. Roof made headlines last year when he was arrested for his racially motivated massacre of nine black churchgoers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in North Carolina.
Although he is currently in protective custody, Roof, 22, was vulnerable because only one guard was in the area and he was fetching toilet tissue for another inmate. That allowed another inmate, 25-year-old Dwayne Stafford, to run down the stairs from his cell into the protective custody unit and sucker punch Roof. It is reported the detention officer quickly responded and separated the two. There were no weapons involved, and the injuries Roof faced were minor – bruising on the face and back.
It is not surprising that the nature of his crimes make Roof vulnerable to attacks, and that is why he is under protective custody in the prison where he awaits trial. His murder trial is set to start at the end of January, and there are already three federal courtrooms dedicated to it. Roof currently faces nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and gun charges.
What is Protective Custody?
Protective custody in prison is a type of imprisonment intended to protect an inmate from harm, either from outside sources or other prisoners. Inmates have the right to request protective custody if they believe that the environment they are living in is harmful to their well-being. They can make this request at any time if they feel their physical safety threatened. Corrections officers then keep the inmate making the request locked up and unable to leave until the request is granted. The request may be granted if officials decide that the inmate is truly at risk. Once ‘protected,’ an inmate is typically segregated from the rest of the prison population.
Ideally, inmates under protective custody are housed in a stand-alone unit, with their own eating facilities, shower areas, recreation yards, and visiting rooms. Doctors and staffers visit the unit so the prisoner does not have to travel. Protective custody units have numerous cameras and guards, and can have anywhere from 10 to 100 inmates. Continue reading