My name is Michael Santos. I have been confined in federal prison since 1987, when I was 23. I serve time because of convictions related to the distribution of cocaine. There were no weapons and there was no violence involved with my case, and I had never been incarcerated before I was arrested for this offense. Nevertheless, after my convictions, the judge in my case imposed a 45-year sentence.
The sentencing laws that were in place at the time of my convictions, commonly referred to as the old-law, provided that I could release to society after I served 26 years. I have been scheduled for release in 2013.
Since my confinement began, I've worked hard and I've worked consistently to reconcile with society for the bad decisions of my early 20s. I regret that I engaged in criminal behavior, and I have considered it my duty to work toward earning freedom while serving my sentence with dignity. I worked hard to educate myself. Through books and articles I write about prison, I strive to make meaningful contributions to society. My writings contribute to the national dialogue on the need for prison reform. They also offer prison news that can be of help to those expecting a journey through the criminal justice system, and to family members who want to learn more about these growing subcultures.