Blog Article 

 How to Journal 

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Michael Santos

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How to Journal on Prison Professors Talent

To build an amazing profile that inspires others, a person should show daily progress. For that reason, Prison Professors Talent opens an opportunity to document the ways that participants use time in prison to prepare for success upon release.

As an example, I published a series of journal entries to show how journals helped me prepare for success while I went through 9,500 days in prison. The journals continue to be an integral component for my ongoing preparations for success. 

People may want to consider journaling as a tactic for self-advocacy.

Judges and Journaling:

Federal judges sentence people to the custody of the attorney general. They consider the information put before them by prosecutors, defense attorneys, and probation officers. They do not have any way of knowing what the person will do in the months, years, or decades ahead.

Many leaders advise that people should always think about the best possible outcome. If people know what they want, they can engineer a pathway more likely to succeed. 

People in prison want opportunities to advance release dates and have a higher level of liberty as soon as possible. 

If an opportunity opens for resentencing, or if laws and policies open more opportunities to incentivize excellence, the person should have resources that will help people with discretion understand the work that went into preparing for success. A daily journal can document the record.

At the start of every year, I wrote specific goals I wanted to achieve. Those goals aligned with how I defined success. For example:

  • I wrote how many books I intended to read during the year,
  • I wrote how many miles I would run during the year,
  • I wrote how many courses I would complete during the year,
  • I wrote the number of books I pledged to read during the year.
  • I documented the reason behind all those decisions.

Daily journals memorialized how I used time in prison to prepare for success upon release. Those records opened new opportunities that led to income opportunities, early termination of Supervised Release, and liberty to launch advocacy efforts.

I concluded my obligation to the Bureau of Prisons in August, 2013. Since then, I’ve continued to document my path. The journals open opportunities. We grow stronger when we show our resilience, and journals can help.

As human beings, we all face challenges and crises. Resilience requires us to:

  1. Launch plans to overcome,
  2. Prioritize the steps we must take,
  3. Build our tools, tactics, and resources,
  4. Measure our progress with daily accountability, adjusting as necessary,
  5. Execute our plan every day.

Daily journals help us stay on track with the plans we set. For that reason, I continue to journal about the methodical steps I’m taking to work toward my goals. All those goals relate to success, as I define success.

If you’re working through our course, Preparing for Success after Prison, try to memorialize your journey. Writing a journal entry regularly helped me through prison, and the strategy continues to help me open opportunities. 

Consider writing a journal each day. Make the journal transparent, and you will take a huge step toward building a support network that wants to invest in you. If an opportunity opens for you to appear before a judge, or to influence people with discretion to ease your life, the daily journal will become an invaluable asset. It will show how hard you worked to prepare for success upon release, and that is a self-advocacy technique that will serve you well.

Consider the following question: 

  • In what ways would a daily journal from yesterday show your preparation for higher levels of success?

Our community at opens opportunities to memorialize your preparations. If you’d like to participate, begin building your profile, email

Prison Professors Charitable Corporation
32565 Golden Lantern Street, B-1019
Dana Point, CA 92629


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