F. Lee Bailey Visits Waterville 

One of the world’s most famous defense lawyers is in Maine. F. Lee Bailey defended O.J. Simpson among his high profile cases. Today he was at the Waterville Rotary Club not to defend anyone, but rather to push a program aimed at helping prisoners trasition to freedom. Bailey believes in a program that gives inmates educational tools and skill training in jail that let’s them trasition into a job with a participating business upon release. Bailey spoke about Minnesota’s Amicus program, in which he would like to see Mainers duplicate. The program Amicus is a Minnesota not-for-profit organization with over 41 years of experience in improving public safety by helping inmates and ex-offenders through positive relationship-building, restorative justice practices and individualized transition services.Through innovative programming, Amicus helps inmates and ex-offenders reshape their lives, reach their goals, and make successful transitions from prison into the community. All of the Amicus programs are relationship-based, community-driven, culturally specific and outcome-oriented.Bailey called upon dozens of Central Maine business owners and community leaders to step up to the plate and support a program like Amicus. In 2007, Maine spent $144 million on corrections and had 58% percent of those incarcerated in 2004 return to jail in 2008. Bailey is a firm believer that if a program that encourages success is put in place those numbers will decrease saving money while it improves lives at the same time.