Journal Entry 

 Reforming Futures 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

 Reforming Futures: The Impact of Policy Change on Incarcerated Lives

In the realm of criminal justice, policy changes can have profound impacts on the lives of those incarcerated. The story of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a powerful example of how advocacy and perseverance can lead to significant reforms, altering the course of many lives.

The Genesis of FAMM

FAMM’s inception coincided with the early years of my own prison journey. Founded by Julie Stewart, FAMM emerged as a response to the harsh realities of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Julie’s brother, sentenced for a marijuana-related offense, faced a lengthy prison term, a sentence even the presiding judge found excessive but was compelled to impose due to these laws. This personal tragedy ignited Julie’s determination to challenge and change these rigid sentencing policies.

 The Long Road to Policy Reform

FAMM’s journey wasn’t easy. It took years of relentless advocacy and unwavering commitment to gain traction. But their efforts paid off, transforming FAMM into a leading voice for policy reform in Washington, D.C. Their work has brought significant changes in sentencing laws, offering hope and relief to many in federal prison.

 The Ripple Effect of Advocacy

As I witnessed FAMM’s growing influence from the confines of my time in federal prison, I saw firsthand the power of dedicated advocacy. During the 9,500 days that I served in federal prison, the organization grew. FAMM’s impact extends beyond policy changes; it’s a beacon of hope, showing that concerted efforts can lead to meaningful reform.

 Your Role in Shaping Policy

This story is a reminder that your actions, even while incarcerated, can contribute to broader changes. By staying informed, advocating for justice, and supporting organizations like FAMM, you become part of a larger movement for reform.

 Join Our Course: Preparing for Success after Prison

Our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” is designed to empower you on this journey. We invite you to share your efforts and progress with us at [email protected]. Remember, by including “Request a Book” in your email subject line, you can access valuable resources, subject to our nonprofit’s availability:

1. Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence

2. Success after Prison

3. Prison! My 8,344th Day

4. Release Plan 2024

5. Preparing for Success after Prison

 Challenge: Advocacy Action Plan

Reflect on a policy issue that resonates with you. Develop a simple action plan outlining steps you can take to advocate for change, whether it’s writing letters, educating others, or supporting relevant organizations. Share your plan and any progress with our community.


The story of FAMM is a testament to the power of advocacy and the impact of policy change on incarcerated lives. It’s a narrative of hope, resilience, and the collective strength of voices calling for justice. At Prison Professors Talent, we stand committed to supporting and amplifying these voices, fostering a future where reform and rehabilitation go hand in hand.


Michael Santos  

Founder, Prison Professors Talent

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