Journal Entry 

 Next Steps 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Our course, Preparing for Success after Prison, includes Ten modules: 

  1. Define Success
  2. Set Goals
  3. Push forward with a 100 percent commitment, which reflects the right attitude.
  4. Aspire to something more than you’re experiencing today.
  5. Act in ways that harmonize with how you define success.
  6. Measure progress with the accountability metrics that you create.
  7. Keep aware of opportunities, and make others aware of your progress.
  8. Be authentic, building your tools, tactics, and resources that lead to success.
  9. Celebrate the small, incremental achievements that will lead to new opportunities.
  10. Live in gratitude, appreciative of the blessings that come your way.

Today, July 10, 2023, I’m celebrating a new achievement. 

The Bureau of Prisons asked us to expand our program into a 30-hour course. I worked hard to complete a new workbook. That way, all students in the program receive a copy of the workbook. The workbook allows participants to learn from each lesson, regardless of where they’re confined. Yesterday, I completed a supplementary resource. I recorded a video of every lesson. 

That milestone allows me to work toward the next step. To comply with security matters, I will contract a manufacturer to convert the 12 hours of video footage into a DVD set. While the manufacturer produces the DVDs, I will work on completing a facilitator guide and a train-the-trainer video. I expect to complete both projects this week.

I share this information in my journal and distribute the daily journals to our community members because I want them to see that I follow the principles described in our course. 

Every day I work toward small steps aligning with my definition of success.

How do I define success? 

  • I want to persuade administrators and legislators that we can improve the outcomes of our nation’s criminal justice system by incentivizing excellence. With incentives, we can help more people use their time in prison to prepare for success upon release. If we prepare more people for success upon release, we improve the culture of confinement, save taxpayer resources, and lower intergenerational cycles of recidivism.

How do you define success? In what ways do your daily goals move you closer to success?

By defining success, I set a series of goals to work toward. Each of those goals aligns with what I’m striving to accomplish. By working every day, I accelerate my pathway to new opportunities. Now that I’ve completed the video series, I can move on to my next set of goals.

While I served my sentence, I read books about leaders. From those books, I learned this values-based, goal-oriented adjustment strategy. Since the strategy helped me emerge from prison successfully, I strive to share the systematic process with every person in our audience.

But I also close these journals with an invitation for others to join our community. We invite any justice-impacted person to memorialize their efforts to prepare for success after release. For those willing to record why they’ve engineered an extraordinary and compelling release plan, we invite them to send an email to: 

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

[email protected]

People in the community who have access to the internet can visit and see how we’re using it to profile the many people in prison who are engineering their release plans. Those release plans show why they’re extraordinary and compelling, and the profiles they build show why reforms that incentive the pursuit of excellence benefits society.

Each step accelerates progress, allowing us to be the change we want to see in the world.

Michael Santos

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