Journal Entry 

 Navigating Interruptions 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

A busy travel schedule interrupted the newsletter. I have not sent a message into prisons since last Saturday, as family obligations have taken me away from my regular work routine. 

In this newsletter, I’ll give our course participants an update on what I’ve been doing. I hope the newsletter will prompt everyone. Working toward success after prison requires each person to think about steps to prepare you for the many interruptions that will obstruct progress. 

In life, we must work through both personal and professional responsibilities. In my career, I devote the remainder of my working life to improving outcomes for people in prison. I want to play a role in ending intergenerational cycles of recidivism and to help more people in prison emerge with their dignity intact, and with opportunities to thrive. 

At the same time, I have two sisters and a wife. During the 26 years that I served in prison, I could not be present for family gatherings, including birthdays, holidays, weddings, or funerals. Earlier this year, my niece, Camilla, asked me to officiate a commemorative wedding celebration for her and Leo, her fiance. I agreed. They were getting married in Tuscany, which is a northern region of Italy. My wife and I had never been to Italy before. 

I was not prepared for how much time I’d have to devote to this trip.

We left Orange County on Sunday, June 15, 2024 at around 5:00 am. We had to fly to Atlanta first. After a few hours, we boarded a second flight that took us to Rome. When we arrived in Rome, it was about 4:00 pm on Monday. The time in Rome is nine hours later than the time in California. 

While traveling, I tried to work to the best of my ability. Family obligations, however, interfered with my schedule. I had connectivity problems while on airplanes and trains. Besides that, when I settled with my family, I had regular interruptions. My sisters insisted that I accompany them to the historic regions of this beautiful country. I am most at ease when I am alone with my thoughts working on a computer. While here, however, I had family responsibilities that I did stay present in family gatherings. My level of productivity dropped to 10 percent of capacity, or less.

Fortunately, I had prepared for times like these. The businesses I created and investments I’ve made allow me to earn an income even while I’m away from my productive work schedule. Had I not prepared in prison, I would not have been able to cover the costs of this trip, which will exceed $30,000. Even though I did not work at the same productivity level as when I’m home, investments in personal development while in prison now provide an income stream. 

Regardless of where I am, I can always work to advance my financial future. My criminal background or the time I served in prison is not a handicap. It’s a strength. Because it taught me that regardless of external circumstances or obligations, a person can live productively anywhere. Even though I wasn’t as productive with my writing and editing duties, I could take images and make videos that I will use in future courses. 

I always have several books in various stages of production. Those books help me show people in prison the importance of thinking ahead and preparing. One of the books I am putting together now will offer more lessons on the digital economy. Prison Professors Charitable Corporation is creating a new series of self-directed workbooks that will offer lessons on various topics, including cryptocurrency, blockchain, Web3.0, Smart Contracts, artificial intelligence, and other topics that people can use to build an income stream upon release.

To create the first book, our nonprofit partnered with a top-tier educator. They offer courses online, but since people in prison cannot access anything online, we’re working to make the information available to people in jails and prisons across the country. We’ll be sending the first books into the federal system before the end of July.

A second book that I’m working on is called Triumph! It offers more insight into the step-by-step guide that I used to prepare for success upon release. People in prison should know the challenges awaiting them. Investing in personal development while inside will lead to more opportunities upon release. The value that comes from developing writing skills, math skills, critical-thinking skills, and a self-directed ethic will provide a return on investment that far exceeds anyone’s imagination. 

Failing to develop those skills keeps a person vulnerable to a life of excuses, unemployment, underemployment, and various stages of misery.

Work to become successful, and life becomes better.

I return to the USA later this week, on Thursday, June 28. Within a day or two, I’ll catch up with past tasks and welcome higher levels of productivity toward my writing projects.

Today’s Question:

  • In what ways are the preparations you’re making today going to help you earn a living during times when you’re not able to work on a job that leads to a paycheck?

Steps to Build Your Profile:

1. Send an invite to [email protected]

2. Once accepted, send an email to the interns with the following information:

   – Your name

   – Your number

   – Your location

   – Your sentence length

3. Respond to any questions presented in the newsletter by sending your answers to the email above.

By taking these steps, you can start memorializing your journey and demonstrating your commitment to a better future.

Keep striving for greatness. Your efforts today will pave the way for your success tomorrow.

We Have Updated Our Terms And Conditions

We have updated our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Terms of Service page. To review the latest version, please click on Terms of Use. If at any time you choose not to accept these terms, please do not use this site.