Weekly Writing Activities

By · Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Now that I have finished the fall classes I was taking at Taft Community College, I am left with more time to work on my independent projects. That does not mean I will have free time, as the projects on which I’m working have no end. Specifically, I am revising the content on MichaelSantos.net, and creating content for my new Web site at PrisonAdvice.com.

I rely on my wife, Carole, to send me hard copies of articles that I have written in years past. Once I receive them, I spend time reading through the postings and making changes as necessary. I edit a few each week. Besides that editing project, I’m also updating the Web sites. Previously, loading content was a real hassle. Since Carole is not an Internet programmer or Web designer, we paid a Web master to load each document. This past quarter, however, we’ve made some changes to the site. Carole hired a new Web designer to make modifications to our Web site projects so that she can load what I write as soon as she receives the content from me. With this new technology, my writing will intensify. I intend to write many articles that will help others understand more about our nation’s prison system. I also want people to understand the strategies that have been so helpful to me in navigating my way through 20 years of imprisonment.

I just finished interviewing a man who is serving a one-year term for violating the conditions of his supervised release. Specifically, the man used a credit card without letting his parole officer know. That violation cost him an additional 365 days in prison. It is important for me to document this kind of information. I want to help others make decisions that will ensure they succeed upon release. The more I can tell people what to expect, the better prepared people will be to make the right decisions. I have another interview scheduled with a man who says that he was wrongfully convicted. I’ve heard such claims of innocence frequently, and they are not all plausible. Still, I think it is important to tell each man’s story. The more readers know, the less likely it will be that they fall victim to a wrongful prosecution.

In addition to those two articles, I intend to write an article with some guidance for people who are about to begin serving sentences in minimum-security camps. I want them to be aware of the types of conduct that can lead to disciplinary infractions, time in the Segregated Housing Unit, and possible transfer to higher security prisons. I urge readers to use this information and to share with their loved ones.

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