Inmate shares prison survival strategies
2012 11 26

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, I’m 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 he’s 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 I’m 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 I’ve 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.
’Messiah’ 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 he’s created this movement, this kind of, ’You can do it, too.’ "

His most widely distributed book, "Inside," published in 2006 by St. Martin’s 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





Related Articles
Whistleblower who revealed CIA torture sentenced to prison
’Difficult’ 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

How Monsanto is Destroying the Brains and Health of Everyone
2014 11 25
Interested in slowing your aging process? Take note! One of my most recent blog entries summarized roughly 10 years of research related to the consequences of inflammatory processes in the periphery of the body, such as the gut, and how this was driving brain degenerative inflammatory processes within the brain. One of the key findings from that research was how pathogenic ...
Guccifer: Pennsylvania City to be Nuked Next Year
2014 11 25
From Youtube: Renowned hacker Guccifer, who accessed the private emails of numerous top military, political and intelligence leaders, told the New York Times that a city in Pennsylvania is the target of a nuke attack in 2015. Guccifer also revealed that he is sitting on an archive of hacked emails that have not been publicly released.
Israeli Police Caught On Video Hosing ‘Skunk Spray’ on Palestinian Elementary Schools and Protesters
2014 11 25
Israeli police in Jerusalem have been caught on video recently spraying East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods with a concoction they call “skunk spray”. The liquid is a mixture of sewage and rotting animal roadkill. The result of the police hosing down neighborhoods, elementary schools and protesters with the mix is a putrid smell that seems almost impossible to get off or be ...
The New Normal: Artist Butchers "Disney Princesses" with Breast Cancer Scars
2014 11 25
Comment: Natural remedies for cancer, like: diet, vitamins, minerals and other supplements are NEVER addressed. Neither are chemicals and wi-fi saturated environment recognized for the rise in these new epidemics. Instead ... what do they do? They normalize it. Like it’s just the new thing you need to do. Change nothing and adapt to these new circumstances of mutilation kids. ...
Gasp, Turkish President Observes Reality: "Women and Men Created Differently"
2014 11 25
Comment: Wow, a politician that manage to observe reality. Shocking and offensive no doubt, I wonder how the pro Muslim Feminists in Scandinavia and the rest of the West will react to this. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set off a new controversy on Monday, declaring that women are not equal to men and accusing feminists of not understanding the special ...
More News »