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[Motivational speaker Victor Woods talks with inmates at the Kane County Jail in St. Charles. Woods was part of a tour for community members of a proposed three-floor residential treatment facility within the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in St. Charles.]
'You need somebody who cares'
Hain also hosted motivational speaker Victor Woods, a nine-time felon – first with armed robberies and then with $40 million in fake credit cards – who turned his life around.
Woods’ message was that detainees “need hope and they need vision.”
“That works. And you need somebody who cares about inmates,” Woods said. “We’ve become excellent at locking people up. And we don’t want to do the kind of programs that he’s [Hain] talking about. This man is the real deal. And it’s what we need all over this country.”
In speaking to a couple of dozen detainees in the jail, Woods held up his autobiography, “A Breed Apart: My Journey to Redemption,” published by Simon and Schuster, which he said sold 75,000 copies at $25 each.
Woods said he planned his life going forward while sitting in a prison cell – which he called his university – and told the detainees if they don’t work on a similar plan, “you plan to fail.”
“I don’t care what kind of program he rolls out," Wood said. "If you like drugs more than you like to be successful; if you like to drink more than you like to work hard; if you are lazy and lack discipline; and if you have high sights but no vision, you will fail. Everyone in here is not going to make it. But praise God, for giving people the opportunity.”
Woods introduced Jerald Harris of Aurora, also an ex-con who became a businessman, author and motivational speaker.
Harris credited Woods’ autobiography with inspiring him to succeed after he was released.
“When I read this book, I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” Harris said. “This guy is just like me. … And I finally found direction.”