Inmate shares prison survival strategies
By Sam Whiting | SFGate.com
On a break from his desk job in Petaluma, Michael Santos climbs into his Chevy compact and drives to a quiet hillside estate, hands on the wheel at 10 and 2.
His wife, Carole, is living in a newly furnished guesthouse and is at the door as he parks and announces, "Honey, Iím home."
They both laugh because this is her home, not his. His home is in a halfway house in San Francisco, where he is finishing a 45-year sentence for drug trafficking. With credit for good behavior, he spent 25 years and two days, more than half his life, locked up. In that time, he published seven books on incarceration, ranging from the macro, "Inside: Life Behind Bars in America," to the micro, "Prison! My 8,344th Day," and married Carole Goodwin, whom heís known since grade school.
Santos, 48, was released to community confinement in August, but he is still federal prisoner No. 16377004. There are institutional rules. Plus there are his rules that are strict and unbendable. "If Iím not exercising the same level of discipline that guided me through prison," he says, pondering the pull of recidivism, "I know the statistics."
So after a few minutes admiring the contents of a refrigerator, and a quick hand-holding session with his wife, he is back in the car, hands on the wheel at 10 and 2.
"The entire journey for me has been hyper-deliberate," he says, speaking softly and slowly. "It has all been in preparation for this period of time when I can emerge into society with opportunities to live as a contributing person. Nothing distracts me from what I need to do."
Santos is employed by Golden State Lumber, because its owner, Lee Nobmann, met him in Lompoc, where Nobmann was serving a 13-month sentence for tax evasion. On his way out, Nobmann promised Santos a place to live and a paying job, which has nothing to do with the business of lumber.
"My job is to continue doing what I was doing in prison," he says. "To help the people understand the American prison system, the strategies that Iíve used to get through it."
He has a website, www.michaelsantos.net, which gets thousands of unique visitors a day, and 1,124 daily followers on Facebook. Every day a hundred new inmates are writing to him in desperate need of his help.
íMessiahí to other prisoners
"For people who are lacking in hope he has become a messiah," says Joan Petersilia, a professor at Stanford Law School and scholar in prison re-entry. "There is a dearth of hope in prison, and Michael is trying to give it to them. Through his books heís created this movement, this kind of, íYou can do it, too.í "
His most widely distributed book, "Inside," published in 2006 by St. Martinís Press, is in its seventh printing. In it, Santos describes how he got by as just about the only inmate who was not either armed with a deadly weapon at all times and/or affiliated with a gang, or paying for protection against sexual predators and sadists.
Read the full article at: sfgate.com
Whistleblower who revealed CIA torture sentenced to prison
íDifficultí asylum seekers put in Swedish prison
The Sovereign Man is the Real Prisoner
Prisoner smuggles sperm out to wife, has son
Female prisoners in USA give birth in handcuffs and chains
10 Creepy Abandoned Prisons
Americas Prison Economy
Latest News from our Front Page
MSNBC Guest: "You Don't Have to Have a White Person Around to Have White Supremacy Play Out"
What makes the academic study of ‚Äúwhite supremacy‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwhite privilege‚ÄĚ so perfect for racialists is that it requires absolutely no parameters of study. There are no standards of proof. There is no way any claims can be vetted in peer-reviewed journals because the ‚Äúevidence‚ÄĚ can be explained by other factors. Anything and everything can be pointed to as being ...
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs
Immigration - Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet.
Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck
Russian Jews face ‚Äėgrave dangers‚Äô if Putin is ousted, warns senior rabbi
Russian Jews would be in serious danger if Russian President Vladimir Putin was ever ousted from power, a senior Russian rabbi has stated. He added, the current government guarantees the safety of Jewish people better than many Western powers do.
‚ÄúThe Jews of Russia must realize the dangers inherent in the possible collapse of the Putin government, understand the rules of ...
White People Always Were A Minority...So What?
The HuffPost is apparently cock-a-hoop about the fact that mass immigration and falling birthrates seem set to reduce Whites to a minority in the USA within a few decades. They also think it is a good laugh, coming out with a video entitled "So, You're About to Become a Minority." This is framed as a pretend public information film aimed ...
Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole ‚Äúrape and pillage‚ÄĚ thing, too.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
|More News » |