Flashback to 1985: Minnesota Governor Explores Torture Treatment Center in State | The Center for Victims of Torture

Flashback to 1985: Minnesota Governor Explores Torture Treatment Center in State

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A little bit of history from our files: On January 18, 1985, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich named a 25-member task force to examine the feasibility of a Minnesota center for victims of torture. 

The task force was chaired by Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Mayo Clinic, and Robert Stein, dean of the University of Minnesota Law School. Shortly after Governor Perpich’s announcement, he and small number of task force visited Research and Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims in Copenhagen, Denmark. While there, the group met with Dr. Inge Genefke, a pioneer in the torture treatment field and founder of the Centre.

In May 1985, the Governor’s Task Force on the Feasibility of a Minnesota Center for the Treatment of Victims of Torture issued its report. Among other items included in the report, the task force made these recommendations:

“1) A Minnesota Center for victims of Torture be established;

2) The Center have both treatment and research as its major functions, with a strong educational component as well;

3) The Center be an independent, nonprofit corporation affiliated with one or more major medical and educational institutions;

4) The Center treat victims of torture by foreign governments, with an initial goal of treating 100 persons per year;

5) Medical services be provided which take a comprehensive approach to the treatment of both victims and their families;

6) Legal and social services needed by victims be provided through existing service delivery systems;

7) The Center be located in the Twin cities area;

8) The Center seek initial funding of $500,000 and an annual operating budget of $600,000;

9) The Center maintain this operating budget by seeking an endowment of $12,000,000 from private sources;

10) The Center plan to admit the first patients in late spring 1986.”

A copy of the full report is available here. More information about CVT’s history can be found on our Web site.


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