Journal Entry 

 From Constraints to Creativity 

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Michael Santos

Rebuilding Life: The Role of Community Support in Post-Incarceration Success

In her influential book, “It Takes a Village,” Hillary Clinton explores the idea that nurturing and supporting individuals, especially children, is a communal responsibility. In writing her book, she wrote primarily on child-rearing. Yet while I climbed my way through 26 years in prison, I always found that this message extends powerfully into all aspects of societal growth and rehabilitation, particularly for those in prison,.

We want to return to society successfully. And it’s in society’s interest for people in prison to emerge successfully.

It’s our job to find messages wherever we can find them on how we can build stronger support networks.

At Prison Professors Talent, we resonate deeply with this philosophy of community. We understand that rebuilding life after prison is not just an individual journey but a collective effort.

 The Village Concept in Post-Incarceration

The journey of reintegration into society after incarceration can be daunting. It’s a path that requires not just personal determination and resilience but also the support and understanding of the community. Clinton’s idea that it takes a village to raise a child can be adapted to our context: it takes a community to support an individual in successfully rebuilding their life after prison.

 Community Support: A Pillar of Success

1. Mentorship and Guidance: Just as a child needs guidance, individuals reentering society benefit immensely from mentors who can offer advice, share experiences, and provide a listening ear.

2. Educational Opportunities: Access to education, both formal and informal, is crucial. It’s about learning new skills, yes, but also about understanding societal norms and expectations.

3. Employment and Vocational Training: A supportive community can provide opportunities for meaningful employment and vocational training, essential for financial independence and self-esteem.

4. Social Reintegration: Acceptance and social support from the community help in overcoming the stigma of incarceration, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose.

 Proving Worthy of Support

In line with Clinton’s philosophy, we at Prison Professors Talent believe in the responsibility of the individual to prove worthy of the support they receive. It’s a two-way street: while the community provides resources and opportunities, the individual must actively engage with these offerings, showing commitment and a willingness to change and grow.

 Our Course: A Community in Itself

Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” is more than just an educational program. It’s a community of learners, mentors, and supporters, all working together towards a common goal of successful reintegration and personal growth. We invite you to be a part of this community, to learn, share, and grow with us.

While people serving sentences work to prepare, I will work outside to persuade employers to open job opportunities, and to persuade administrators to open more mechanisms that will allow people to work toward earning freedom.

 Invitation to Participate and Grow

We encourage you to share your journey with us at [email protected]. Your stories, challenges, and successes help strengthen our community. And remember, by including “Request a Book” in the subject line of your email, we can provide you with resources like “Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence” and others, to aid in your journey, subject to the availability of resources in our nonprofit.

 Books to Guide and Inspire

1. Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence

2. Success after Prison

3. Prison! My 8,344th Day

4. Release Plan 2024

5. Preparing for Success after Prison

In conclusion, the journey of rebuilding life post-incarceration is a collaborative effort. It’s about the individual’s determination and the community’s support. At Prison Professors Talent, we stand ready to be part of your village, helping you navigate the path to a successful and fulfilling life after prison.


Michael Santos

Founder, Prison Professors Talent

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