Blog Article 

 Prison Years: 21-25 

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Michael Santos

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While Carole and I continued to build our life together as a married couple, nurturing our relationship through weekly visits in prison visiting rooms. Although she did the work, I brought meaning into my life by creating opportunities to earn money to support her—even while I was moving into my third decade in prison. After passing the pre-requisite courses, Carole started nursing school, earning credentials as a licensed vocational nurse, and then as a registered nurse.

Anticipating that I would conclude my prison journey in 2012, I began making final preparations for the life I wanted to lead. After earning publishing credentials by bringing two books to market with academic publishers, I opened a relationship with a literary agent. I wrote a proposal for a general, non-fiction book and my agent succeeded in selling the idea to St. Martin’s Press, one of the world’s largest publishing houses. Large newspapers from across the United States, including the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review and the New York Times Sunday Book Review brought my books to the attention of more readers, building my credibility and boosting my support network.

I leveraged the attention to open new publishing opportunities as a ghostwriter for high net-worth people I met in prison. Earnings from those projects not only supported my wife, but the projects became the start of lifelong friendships with several business leaders. From those leaders, I developed plans to launch my life upon release. I spent those final five years of my imprisonment laying the ground word to build businesses I intended to create upon my release.

Through the work that I had done during the 25 years that I served in prison, I was well prepared to begin my life in society. On August 12, 2012, authorities allowed me to transfer to a halfway house in San Francisco, where I would serve my final year. On the day that I walked, I could rely upon the following credentials:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from Mercer University
  2. A master’s degree from Hofstra University
  3. A long-list of published articles, chapters, and books
  4. A massive support network
  5. A 10-year marriage
  6. Experience of overseeing hundreds of stock trades, with a cumulative value of more than $20 million.
  7. Extensive experience of creating opportunities out of struggle
  8. Approximately $100,000 in a savings account

Since I accumulated those resources from inside of a prison, I felt extremely confident that I could succeed in society. I could rely upon the same deliberate strategies and tactics that powered me through decades in prison to become successful in society.

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