Journal Entry 

 Thursday, January 11, 2024 Economic Independence After Incarceration 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

More than 10 years have passed since I got out of prison, and I’m glad to have economic independence today. Had I not used my time in prison to prepare for success later, I may have struggled.

After a jury convicted me, the judge sentenced me to a lengthy prison term. As I transitioned from the detention center to a high-security federal prison, facing multiple decades of confinement, a profound realization dawned on me. My future, post-incarceration, loomed with challenges, chief among them: economic independence. Without a documented work history, and a criminal record, I expected that I would find many obstacles on the path to earning a living.

This daunting prospect, however, ignited a spark within me. I understood that my time in prison could be a period of profound learning and growth. If I could develop vital skills while inside. If I spent time preparing and learning, I would emerge better equipped to navigate the outside world. I chose to focus on developing my communication abilities, particularly in writing. By developing more confidence as a writer, I empowered myself, developing multiple income streams along the way.

In our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” we emphasize the importance of using time inside to develop skills that will serve you well outside. It’s about transforming your period of incarceration into a launchpad for future success. I encourage you to consider this course as a stepping stone toward rebuilding your life.

As part of our commitment to empowering people in prison, we invite participants to share their journey of self-improvement. By sending an email to [email protected] with “Request a Book” in the subject line, you can receive resources like “Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence,” “Success after Prison,” “Prison! My 8,344th Day,” “Release Plan 2024,” and “Preparing for Success after Prison.” These books are a testament to the power of transformation and are available to you, courtesy of our nonprofit, subject to available resources.

I challenge you to engage not just passively but actively. 

Reflect on this question: 

What skill or knowledge can I acquire that will significantly impact my economic independence after release?

This is not just a question but a call to action. Identify a skill, a field of knowledge, and start working towards it. Learn a trade, improve literacy, or study a new language. Each step you take is a step towards your freedom in more ways than one.

Furthermore, I urge you to undertake a personal development task from this lesson. Set a goal for the next month. It could be reading a book about a skill you want to learn, writing a daily journal, or starting a small project. Whatever it is, ensure it aligns with your long-term goal of economic independence.

In conclusion, remember that your current situation does not define your future. With determination, learning, and the right resources, economic independence post-incarceration is not just a dream, but a very achievable reality. 

Share your work with others and you will open more opportunities.