Blog Article 

 Understanding the Prison System 

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Michael Santos

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Mastering Prison Quickly

Hello. My name is Michael Santos and on behalf of my two partners, Shon Hopwood and Justin Paperny; I want to welcome you to this Prison Professors brochure on how to master prison quickly.

It’s crucial that somebody who is charged with a crime, particularly in the federal system; that they understand the prison system from the very start. The more you understand about the prison system, the better off you’re going to be to make decisions on what’s going to get you the best possible outcome.

Unfortunately, the statistics are very dismal for people who have been charged in federal court. More than 90% of the people who are charged eventually face a sentencing hearing, and in a significant majority of those cases, prison will follow. So it’s really important to begin understanding early about what steps an individual can take to master the system.

Understand The Prison Process

To master the system, really, you’ve got to begin by what? Understanding the process, right? How does it work? How does the system work, and how do people who get into the system put themselves on a path to the best possible outcome?

If you can understand how the system operates, you can begin making better decisions and those better decisions will put you on a pathway, so it’s not just a waste of time. Rather, you can recalibrate your life and begin positioning yourself for success as you define success.

But you’ve got to anticipate what challenges are going to come, and when you face those challenges, you’ve got to know what steps can you take to overcome those challenges? To overcome challenges first, we’ve got to understand the stakeholders. Who are they? What do these stakeholders, how can they influence our lives? If we understand who the stakeholders are, we can appropriate our remedy in the right direction.

Understand How the Stakeholders Operate

Sometimes, the prison system is such a vast bureaucracy that we don’t even understand, “Where do we go to fight?” When you’re going into the system, you’ve been … Too many people are just relying on defense attorneys to make all of their decisions, but once you go into the system, there are no defense attorneys.

So before you go in, it’s really a best practice approach to understand how the stakeholders operate; what can you do to begin maneuvering yourself into a pathway to success? You’ve got to understand that there are three branches of government.

There’s an executive branch, there’s a judicial branch, there’s a legislative branch. All of those have some influence on an individual’s life. If you’re going into the prison system, you’ve got to understand who those stakeholders are, you’ve got to understand what you can do with those stakeholders, how you can maneuver yourself in such a way to succeed even if they present obstacles and challenges.

Understanding the Designation Process

After you understand the stakeholders, you really have to understand in the prison system how the designation process works. You’ve got to understand how the Bureau of Prisons is going to classify you. Are you going to be classified in the minimum security camp? A low security prison? A medium security prison? A high security prison? What decisions can you make to influence that possible designation? How can I succeed, regardless of where the prison system places me?

To master prison, you’ve got to understand the risks and rewards, the opportunities and threats. They are fundamentally different, depending on which type of prison the Bureau of Prisons places an individual in. Our team knows a lot about every security level, because we’ve got a lot of experience in every security level, but we want you to understand how decisions that you make can influence where you are going, because where you are going will influence how you come out.

Prepare For The Best Possible Outcome

After you understand the process, the stakeholders, the designation system; you also have to be preparing yourself for the best possible outcome. What can you do to prepare? Prepare! It’s really crucial to … I don’t even know how to write this. Prepare!

It’s so crucial that you prepare, that you are thinking about, “Okay. I am here, there’s nothing I can do to change that. There’s nothing I can do to change the fact that I have been locked inside of a prison system, or I am going inside of a prison system.” The only question you should be asking is, “What can I do to prepare for the best possible outcome?” And that doesn’t happen by accident.

You can look at statistics, it doesn’t matter what educational background you have, how much money you have, who represented you, where you came from. You have a past. That past has brought you inside. The only questions that we need be asking today are:

  1. What steps can I take to sow seeds for the best possible outcome? And of course, on Prison Professors, you will see an abundance of free resources that you can tap into to see. “Well, what have other people done? What can I learn from them? How can I grow?” The more that you learn about people that have succeeded from prison, you will learn one thing. They’ve all focused on writing a new narrative for their life.

Writing a New Narrative

They are not … They refuse to be defined by the bad decisions that they’ve made or what somebody else has done; focusing on what steps they can take today, given the resources that they have, given the situation that they’re in to start sowing seeds for an awesome outcome.

I know that might seem a little difficult for somebody who is contemplating, “Oh my god, I’m going into the prison system.” But if you look at my partners, you will see that they pursued a path to the best possible outcome. If you listen to our podcast, you will listen to dozens and dozens and dozens of people who have gone into the criminal justice system through one path or another, and they found their way home.

They found their way into a life of success, and meaning, and relevance. That’s what we want for everybody who is using the Prison Professors platform. So, take a look at this booklet. I hope that you learn something.

If you want something that is more comprehensive, make sure you sign up for one of our courses. They’re either self-study courses that you can take to understand what can work for us and what can work for you. We just hope that you will find a way to restore your confidence, restore your sense of meaning and dignity and relevance, and stop the spinning out of control; so that you can come back to society strong and with new opportunities.

That’s what we hope for you at Prison Professors. Thanks so much for tuning in. I hope that you have listened and subscribed to our Prison Professors podcast. If you haven’t, please do so today, it’s available on iTunes. Thank you. I am Michael with Prison Professors, and I wish you the best.

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