Monday, January 06, 2014

Earning Freedom, by Michael G. Santos

Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Prison Term, Michael G. Santos, Capetown South Africa: A.P.S. Publishing, 2013. e-book, 1242 pps.

Michael G. Santos is the inmate turned scholar and author whose book Inside was reviewed in the post just before this one. He was released from prison in August of 2012 after serving twenty five years. His story is intriguing. He used his time in prison well.  Earning Freedom breaks up the author's prison time into months and years, thereby enabling the reader to follow his progress to becoming the man that Michael G. Santos is today. 

sapphoq reviews says: Anyone facing time should read Michael G. Santos. His work is evidence that prisoners can and do self-rehabilitate in prison, if they choose to do so and work for it. Santos helped himself by deciding that he had to serve his time with an eye on specifics-- how he will achieve his goals, how he will support himself after prison, how he will strengthen his family ties while in prison, how he will avoid any write-ups for disciplinary infractions. In spite of roadblocks put up by various (but not all) wardens and prison staff, Michael G. Santos earned several degrees while behind bars. He also invested money in the stock market legally with the help of his sister-- which paid off handsomely-- so that he would have a nest egg upon release. Although he lost his fashion-plate girlfriend, a friend from high school in Seattle began corresponding with him. After a period of time, he did indeed marry Carole inside prison and are still together today. When their visits were in danger of being cut off by a change in prison policy, their decision to marry at a later date became an imperative to tie the knot sooner. In deciding to avoid write-ups (shots in fed pens; tickets in state pens) and time spent in the hole, Santos became a prisoner who lived his life with integrity. One example was when he refused to arrange to have his mattress stuffed by another prisoner for comfort. Instead, he asked for and received a transfer to a different cell. His two cellies who were sleeping with the altered sleeping pads received time in SHU for destruction of prison property (He is not a snitch. The mattresses were found during a search). There is much to admire about Michael G. Santos. He learned that anything worth having is worth working for. I wish him and his wife Carole the very best in life. Absolutely highly recommended.  

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