Inmate shares prison survival strategies
2012-11-26 0:00

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

Aurora Shooting Victim Parents Face $200K Court Fees, Bankruptcy, After Failing to Sue Ammo Dealers
2015-08-01 2:17
The 2012 Colorado Theater Shooting still doesn’t add up… Media character and ‘Shooter’ James Holmes in court in 2012-2013. In 2014, Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, the mother and stepfather of Aurora Theater Shooting victim Jessica Redfield Ghawi, tried to sue the ammo companies they believe supplied shooter James Holmes with his ammunition, body armor and other items. They bleived that the online retailer BulkAmmo.com had sold Holmes ...
FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force Investigating Confederate Flags at MLK's Ebenezer Baptist Church
2015-08-01 2:21
According to the Atlanta Police Department, two White men left four small Confederate Battle Flags outside MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta … and get this, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is on the scene investigating the incident. Atlanta police Chief George Turner said his agency was working with federal authorities and they have not determined what charges might be ...
Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz Can’t Explain Difference Between Democrat Party and Socialism
2015-08-01 2:08
Things got very awkward today when Chris Matthews asked DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz what the difference was between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism. We haven’t seen that dazed look since Rachel Dolezal was busted as a fraud. Wasserman Schultz was speechless. Completely stumped. Couldn’t answer. Then changed the subject. Because we all know there is no difference between today’s Democrat Party and the radical ...
Catching on slow: Yet Another Study Show Cellphone Radiation Cause Cancer
2015-08-01 1:44
The scientists were right — your cell phone can give you cancer. There have long been whispers of a cancer connection from your cell — and a new study backs up the claims. "These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health," study author Igor Yakymenko said. Yakymenko’s meta-study — basically a study of ...
Trump Goes #Cuckservative on Immigration
2015-08-01 1:28
For weeks, the media have trumpeted the supposed death of the Trump campaign. First, they claimed, Trump’s campaign imploded on launch thanks to his comments about illegal immigration. Then they claimed that Trump was finished because of his slap at Senator’s (R-AZ) war service. But neither of those comments alienated Trump’s base – he’s maintained his seven point lead over ...
More News »