"The difference between guys on the inside and guys on the outside, they're not evil people. They just made a series of bad decisions."
According to inmate Bill Murphy, Pete Pedersen made a great decision nearly 30 years ago when he began volunteering with Amicus, an agency that helps offenders reshape their lives. Pete visits and writes to prisoners at three state institutions, some of them confined to their cells 23 hours a day. Murphy nominated Pete saying he has provided invaluable friendships to many inmates.
"I just can't give up on people." Pete says he has visited with more than 100 inmates. One of them hadn't had a visitor for eight years. He has also helped 14 inmates transition back into society. Yet he has never once felt threatened. He says the recidivism rate is lower for inmates helped by the Amicus program.
A grandfather and retired market manager from 3M, Pete fills the rest of his time fishing, reading, woodworking and gardening. He also helps with mediation for the Washington County victim-offender program.
"I have a faith in humanity that says people deserve a second chance… maybe a third chance… maybe a fourth chance."
Designated Charity: $1100 to Amicus