Michael Santos 

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My name is Michael Santos, and I’m a founder of Prison Professors.

While serving a 45-year sentence, I made a commitment to work toward improving outcomes for all justice-impacted people. From leaders who lived over the past 2,500 years, I learned many lessons. Those lessons helped me to build strength and restore confidence during the 9,500 days that I spent in prison. I use those lessons to help others learn more about self-advocacy. Opportunity costs accompany decisions at every stage in the journey.

Through the free and low-cost resources we produce at Prison Professors, we strive to be the change that we want to see in the world.

The back story is simple to follow:

  • I made bad decisions as a teenager.
  • When I was 20 I began selling cocaine.
  • In 1987 I went to federal prison and I served 26 years—9,500 days.
  • While in prison I made a commitment to reconcile with society and to prepare for success.
  • During my first decade, I earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree, then began building income streams while in prison.
  • During my second decade, I married Carole inside a prison’s visiting room, and together we made a plan of building our “prison ministry” to help other justice-impacted people upon my release..
  • Upon my release from prison, in 2013, I made a commitment to contribute to society and work toward building prosperity.
  • Within five years, I built digital courses that I sold to prison systems across the United States. More than 100,000 people each year work through our programs.
  • Every day, we work to improve outcomes for justice-impacted people. We create digital content people can use to learn self-advocacy techniques. We also distribute resources to people in jails and prisons across America.

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