Blog Article 

 SAG-19-Skills in Prison 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Need Answers to Your Questions?

Hi my name is Taylor Evans and I am on the team with Prison Professors.

Ask yourself this question, if you were going to prison for 18 months what three skills would you like to master to set yourself up for success upon your release?

Michael and Justin both share the most important skill that they learned in prison which has helped shape them today.

Justin entered prison with a lot of shame and guilt surrounding how he handled himself throughout his trial. He continually beat himself up for his actions and obsessed over how unfair the system was until he met his mentor, Michael Santos.

Michael introduced Justin to the Straight-A Guide and Justin made a concerted effort into applying the Straight-A Guide to his life. With his consistent efforts, Justin was able to clearly define the skill that he felt was most beneficial for him to learn, introspection.

Once Justin was able to apply the awareness step from the Straight-A Guide and see his actions from his victims’ perspective he was able to be honest with himself. He shares how that led him to think and develop the self-awareness to understand why he made the decisions he did. More importantly he acknowledged what he did wrong and worked his tail off to change his behaviors from being selfishly motivated to being selflessly motivated.  

Michael argues that developing strong communication skills was the most important development tool for him to master during his prison sentence. Michael shares a cliché statement in the video, the pen is mightier than the sword, and his experience proves that theory. 

Michael was sentenced to prison as a young man in his early 20s. He understood language and grammar but was no master. He challenged himself to be a stronger writer while earning his university degree. One of his daily goals was to write 1000 words on any subject. 

As he grew more confident in his writing ability, he began to search for mentors to make him even better. That is when Michael met his mentor, R. Bruce McPherson. Bruce bloodied up Michael’s writings with his red pen, and Michael was open to his feedback. Michael did not take the feedback personally and understood Bruce edited his paper with such detail because he believed Michael had what it takes to be a successful writer. 

Michael then went on to publish Earning Freedom among other publications and shares his thought on why communication and writing skills are the most important to master. He shares that strong communication skills can have a direct impact on you achieving success. Strong writing can lead to employment. The ability to articulate and communicate at a high level opens up opportunity to network with well-educated individuals. Ultimately, he shares that strong communication skills can take a person much further than they expect.

With how prevalent technology has become in our life there are countless skills you can learn, develop, and master while you are in prison. Let’s say tech has fascinated you and you always wanted to learn how to code. There are hundreds of online coding academies that can teach you relevant software languages. This is a skill that you can utilize on both a professional and personal level. 

What is most important is that you pick a skill or two that aligns with your values of achieving success. Remember what Michael asked Justin after he shared about his ten-mile run, who is going to pay you to run all those laps?  Pick skills that you can transfer to both your professional and personal life that can help you become the successful version of yourself.

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