Journal Entry 

 Inspired to Build Prison Professors Talent 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Early this morning, I returned to my work on our new website. I’m grateful to three members of my team who have helped me build. I work closely with Tulio, who leads our IT, and Jonathan, who does graphic design. But I also had help from Aleyah, a student from American University. She interns with us, but we’re grooming her to have a leadership role with our nonprofit.

A podcast inspired me to build our new website, The podcast profiled a conversation with the CEO of AirBnB. During the pandemic, his company had to lay off hundreds of people. To assist them, he built a new website called Through that website, he would profile the talented engineers that worked for them and invite others to hire those people. 

That podcast helped me realize how I could help more people in prison. With our educational content, we had a broad reach. More than 300,000 people could access our courses in jails and prisons across America. Yet once they finished a course, they would still need prompting. They would need to apply what they had learned to build effective release plans.

Effective release plans worked for me. They helped me open many opportunities. When I left prison, I had many job offers awaiting me. My release plan helped me close my first real estate transaction during my first week in the halfway house. 

Like the CEO of AirBnB wanted to help his team, I wanted to help more people in prison learn how they could continue efforts to prepare for success upon release. They may finish courses I create, but they must continue working in a self-directed way to prepare for success.

Good Neighbors, Not Good Inmates:

I intended to build a resource that imprisoned people could use to prepare for success upon release. The Director of the BOP has made her commitment very public. She wants to focus on creating good neighbors, not good inmates.

Our team at Prison Professors wants to help.

By helping thousands of people build pathways to memorialize their commitment to preparing for success, I am convinced that we can genuinely work toward being the change we want to see in the world.

Although I completed my obligation to the Bureau of Prisons in August, 2013, I’ll continue using the same strategies that I urge those in our community to follow. And since I don’t ask anyone to do anything that I don’t do, I’ll document my pathway right here on this website. I’ll also send updates out to members of our community.

Those who want to check out the work can visit my profile page on the new website at

Those who want to participate in our project should send an invite to [email protected]

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