Journal Entry 

 Rebuilding Life 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Rebuilding Life: The Cornerstones of Success After Incarceration

As I reflect on the journey that many of us undertake after incarceration, I am reminded that rebuilding a life is akin to constructing a sturdy edifice. It requires a solid foundation, reliable cornerstones, and a clear blueprint for success. This construction is not just a metaphorical one; it is a tangible process of laying down the cornerstones of success that will uphold the new life we aspire to build.

In our courses, you will learn strategies that have empowered many people to build lives of success after prison. We know that you can do the same.

The Foundation: Self-Empowerment

Before laying the cornerstones, we must first establish a strong foundation. Self-empowerment is that bedrock. It begins with the belief that we are the architects of our destiny. In our course, Preparing for Success After Incarceration, we delve into the principles that fortify this foundation. We learn that empowerment comes from within and that it is nurtured by the choices we make every day.

Cornerstone One: Education

Education is the first cornerstone of a successful post-incarceration life. It is through education that we expand our minds, acquire new skills, and open doors to opportunities that were previously closed. Education is both formal and informal; it is found in classrooms and in the wisdom of those who have walked this path before us.

Cornerstone Two: Employment

The second cornerstone is gainful employment. A job provides more than just an income; it offers a sense of purpose, a place in society, and the dignity that comes with self-sufficiency. Securing employment may be challenging, but it is a critical step in demonstrating our value and potential to the world.

Cornerstone Three: Community

Community is the third cornerstone. No one rebuilds their life in isolation. It is through connections with others that we find support, encouragement, and the collective strength to overcome the challenges we face. A strong community provides a network of resources, advice, and camaraderie that is indispensable.

Cornerstone Four: Well-being

The final cornerstone is well-being. True success is holistic; it encompasses physical health, mental clarity, and emotional stability. Prioritizing our well-being ensures that we have the vitality and endurance to pursue our goals and withstand the pressures of reentry.

The Blueprint: A Plan for Success

With these cornerstones in place, we must then draft a blueprint—a strategic plan that outlines the steps we will take to achieve success. This blueprint is a living document, one that we adjust as we grow and as circumstances change.

Your Task: Laying Your Cornerstones

This week, I challenge you to identify and lay down your own cornerstones. Reflect on the state of your education, employment, community, and well-being. What actions can you take to strengthen these areas? Draft a plan that addresses each cornerstone and outlines specific, actionable steps you can take to build upon them.

Share your blueprint with us at [email protected] We are eager to hear about the cornerstones you are laying down and the life you are constructing. Your journey is a testament to the power of resilience and the human capacity to rebuild and thrive.

Join the Rebuilding Effort

As you undertake this task, remember that you are part of a larger community of builders—individuals who are reconstructing their lives with courage and determination. By sharing your progress, you contribute to a repository of hope and practical wisdom that can support others in their own rebuilding efforts.

Together, we can transform the narrative of post-incarceration from one of survival to one of success. Let us lay down these cornerstones and erect a structure of opportunity that stands as a beacon of possibility for all.


Michael Santos

Founder, Prison Professors Talent

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