MN Judge-Inmate Reflects On Prison “Warehousing”


Roland Amundson, 56, is a former Minnesota appellate judge who finishing a prison term for stealing from a trust fund. The New York Times says that Amundson “belongs to a small group of distinguished jurists undone by the laws they had been sworn to uphold, who later came to claim redemption in their undoing.” Some are unconvinced. “I don’t think he feels like he did anything wrong,” said Karen Dove, a guardian for Amundson’s victim. Prosecutors are skeptical that Amundson has learned much in prison; they say he has continued to expect special treatment.

Amundson may get out of a halfway house 23 months early, in April, because of good behavior. He has surrendered his law license, and wants to help men coming out of prison, giving them a place to live and help with other hurdles to successful re-entry. Amundson says he had not thought about sentencing beyond his court; he has seen its consequences from fellow inmates. “I knew the era of rehabilitation was over, but I had no idea we had reduced it to just warehousing, and I don’t think most judges do,” he said.


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