Journal Entry 

 July 21, 2023-Building Credibility 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

I’d like to update people in our community on our new platform, Prison Professors Talent. Although I publish the daily journal on our websites, more than 100 thousand people access our content inside jails and prisons. Since they cannot access the internet, I will update them in the following ways:

  1. Through these journal entries that we send through the prison email system,
  2. Through a PDF that we’ll mail to those who’ve expressed interest in our community (on Monday, 7/24/23),
  3. Through a new workbook that we’ll publish and distribute (likely by September 2023).

More than 140 people have sent “invites” to our address, which I’ll publish at the bottom of this email. Our interns follow the steps: 1) accept all invites, 2) build a profile for the person with the information we have.

To advocate effectively, we need to call attention to the number of people inside who adjust in extraordinary and compelling ways. Although we’re pleased that more than 140 people have signed up, we need them to begin fleshing out their profiles by sending the following information: 1) bio; 2) journal entries; 3) book reports; 4) release plans.

I have written lessons to suggest steps people may take to write those sections of the profile. Our development team is building two new sections that will highlight progress. 

Impact:

Our impact page will include a series of visual representations that show how many people use their profiles to memorialize the different ways they’re using time in prison to prepare for success upon release. Visitors to the website will see charts and graphical illustrations showing that we could improve outcomes by allowing people who qualify to serve sentences in home confinement. Such reforms will allow people to work and support themselves, preparing for success while still under the supervision of the BOP.

Individual Highlights:

We’re creating a highlight reel to feature the images or progress of the most active people on the website. If a person participates in a program and submits a book report, updates or biography, release plan, or new journal entry, the website will track the progress and assign points. The points will advance people, highlighting how they stand out as an “extraordinary and compelling” candidate for success.

Advocacy:

We’re investing heavily (given the limited resources of our nonprofit) to build a more compelling case for reforms. We continue focusing on the challenges ahead. Many people do not want to see the reforms we’re advocating to bring: reforms that incentivize the pursuit of excellence. 

  • Our view: We need to reform laws and policies to get the outcomes we want. Changes should empower BOP administrators. They need tools to incentivize people working to prepare for success upon release. Those incentives should lead to a higher level of liberty based on merit.
  • Opposing view: Some people want to serve every day of the sentence that a judge imposed and argue that the system should not reward people for doing what they’re supposed to do. They do not like any mechanism that could advance a release date. Some leaders have told me they would like to govern with more punishments for bad behavior rather than incentives for good behavior.

We hope to profile more people on Prison Professors Talent. If we can show 1,000 people building “extraordinary and compelling” cases, we will bolster economic arguments. We’ll show that people are preparing for success upon release, which is in the interest of every citizen.

Our community at PrisonProfessorsTalent.com opens opportunities to memorialize your preparations. If you’d like to publish your profile, email our team:

[email protected].

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

818-237-3460