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
Sweden to give over 8 million euros to Turkey for "refugee deal" - Europe to give three billion euros total
Prime Minister Stefan L√∂fven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.
The deal came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a surprise summit in Brussels involving the leaders of nine countries including Sweden, France and the UK.
The European ...
Swedish woman raped by "refugee" refuses to report it because she feels sorry for him
Victim sympathized with rapist's "difficult situation"
A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi ‚Äúrefugee‚ÄĚ on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she ‚Äėfelt sorry‚Äô for her attacker.
The incident occurred on a night train between Ume√• and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the ...
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil sales‚ÄĚ -- Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan‚Äôs minister for natural resources
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
The Russian Prosecutor General‚Äôs Office has recognized George Soros‚Äôs Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia‚Äôs ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was ‚Äúcaught with IS pants down.‚ÄĚ By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS‚Äďor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference‚Äďterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
|More News » |