Michigan Supreme Court Judge Gives Pep Talk To Jail Inmates

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Inmates at a Flint-area jail got a pep talk from an unlikely visitor: a Michigan Supreme Court justice.

Richard Bernstein recently shook the hands of 24 people enrolled in an education program intended to help them succeed when they're released from the Genesee County jail, MLive.com reported.

“There is a lot of excitement for you in this program. You are needed, and I am counting on you," Bernstein said.

Bernstein comes from a wealthy Detroit-area family that has been successful in law. But he explained how he must overcome challenges each day as a blind person.

Bernstein has run two dozen marathons. He also spent weeks in a hospital recovering from injuries when a high-speed bicyclist struck him in a New York park in 2012.

“We are given our experiences for a reason," Bernstein told jail inmates. "The more difficult or painful experiences aren’t given to us to enjoy life or make the most out of them. We should look to use those difficult experiences to do something impactful."

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said the jail's IGNITE program was developed to give people a fresh shot at a better life.