Clemency Clinic Student Publishes Op-Ed in Star Tribune Inspired by Clinic's Trip to a Norwegian Prison
The Star Tribune published an op-ed by Buchanan Waller '23 on the Norwegian penal model. Entitled "Prison doesn't mean torture in Norway," it addressed the recent prisoner sit-down protest about conditions at Stillwater prison. In March of this year, Waller had joined a trip to Norway organized and led by Professor JaneAnne Murray, director of the Law School's Clemency Clinic, during which students visited Halden, reputedly "the world's most humane prison," and met with Norwegian criminal justice and penal experts and officials, including, courtesy of the Minnesota Norwegian Honorary Consul, members of the Norwegian parliament. The experiences caused Waller to conclude:
"Norway's prison system is based on principles which can be applied here in Minnesota: humanity, normality, dynamic security and reintegration into society. All of these principles can be boiled down to one idea: Life in prison should resemble life outside prison. When inmates are treated like animals, they cannot suddenly transform into functioning members of society upon release. When inmates are given a good quality of life, an education, and high-quality mental health and addiction treatment, they can get out of prison and stay out."