Journal Entry: Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Journal Entry

Reintegrating with Confidence and Purpose

I’m Michael Santos, founder of Prison Professors Talent (PPT). Today I’d like to offer insight into how opening your profile on the PPT site will help you reintegrate with society confidently and with purpose. 

Your profile will also help our advocacy efforts. To persuade administrators and policy makers on the need for reforms that include federal work-release programs, more access to home confinement, and expansion of the First Step Act to incentivize excellence, we need to show progress. We’re striving to feature more people using time in prison to prepare for success upon release.

If you haven’t received a copy of our workbook: Release Plans 2024, I encourage you to request one. Our nonprofit will happily send you a copy without charge. Since you do not have access to the internet, the workbook includes many images and examples to prompt others on how to build a profile. The book offers recommendations on your profile should memorialize the many ways that you’re preparing for success. 

If you’d like to receive a copy of Release Plan 2024, you have three options:

  1. Send a Corrlinks invite to
  2. Have someone from your support group visit
  3. Have someone from your support group order a copy from Amazon.

When I began serving my sentence in 1987, neither the internet nor email systems existed. Staff members warned that I would receive a disciplinary infraction if I used a typewriter for anything other than communicating with the courts. Thankfully, times have changed.

Despite the challenges, I considered it essential to memorialize the progress that I was making in prison. I created a journal, I wrote book reports, and I built a release plan that profiled all the goals I set to show my commitment to reconciling with society. In Earning Freedom, I describe the three-part strategy that drove my decisions:

  1. I would work to educate myself.
  2. I would work to contribute to society in meaningful, measurable ways.
  3. I would work to build a strong support network.

By memorializing that journey, opportunities opened. The personal profile I built helped me stay on track. I had reason to avoid disruptions that could lead to disciplinary infractions, focus on the tasks I needed to complete, and persuade mentors to come into my life. Many opportunities opened in prison. They led to income opportunities that awaited my release.

When I completed my obligation to the Bureau of Prisons, I began working toward advocacy. The collaborative efforts of many led to the First Step Act. In the First Step Act, Congress tasked the Bureau of Prisons with creating new incentives to help more people prepare for success upon release.

But anyone who follows the news knows and understands that the Bureau of Prisons faces staffing challenges. Congress has been slow to provide funding. For that reason, despite the First Step Act, people sometimes lack access to courses and programs.

Our nonprofit strives to generate more resources that will allow us to help more people in prison show how they’re preparing for success upon release.

We’re asking you to participate. If your prison offers our First-Step-Act approved course, Preparing for Success after Prison, take the course. If it does not, reach out to our interns and we will send you a copy of the workbook. No one should work as hard as you to prepare for an earlier transition to society.

Since I would never ask anyone to do anything that I’m not doing, I send these daily journals.

Get started today!

Critical Thinking:

If you’ve built your profile, and you’re memorializing your journey, consider responding to the following question:

  • In what ways does the record you’ve built in prison advance you for a career-track position with an employer, or prepare you for an entrepreneurial career?

I hope that you join our community and begin memorializing your journey.

Michael Santos,
Founder, Prison Professors