Seth Ferranti/ Class 1: Values

by Seth Ferranti

16. Who are you?

My name is Seth Ferranti. I grew up in the suburbs of California. My dad was in the military. We lived overseas in Europe and than when he retired we settled in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington DC. I had a lot of advantages and opportunities and basically I messed up. I got invloved in drugs and then started getting LSD and marijuana shipped from out of state to me in Virginia and I started selling it all at area high schools and than colleges. This all started in 1987 or so. By the time I was 20 I was supplying about 15 colleges in 5 states with LSD and marijuana. I got busted in the summer of 1991, got indicted federally and took off. I was a US Marshals list top 15 fugitive for 2 years and after I was caught in 1993 I was convicted of a Continual Criminal Enterprise charge and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. I have been in prison ever since.

I have grown to a man behind these fences. It took me a long time but after meeting Michael Santos in 1999 I decided to start preparing for my eventual release. My first 6 years were spent doing nothing productive. I was working out, playing sports and smoking weed. “Bidding” as they called it. I wasn’t worried about the outside world. But after meeting Mike and listening to what he had to say I decided to start preparing for my future, even though I wouldn’t enter society until 2015. I like who I am now. I believe in myself and I am confident in my abilities to succeed in whatever I put my mind to. I have worked hard to position myself and be ready for my release so that I can become a successful member of society and pursure the various endeavors and activities that I have planned. I consider myself a responsible, hard working, intelligent and productive person who is ready to enter society and contribute.

17. Describe your background with regard to your education, vocation or career, troubles with the law.

I come from a middle class background. I grew up in the suburbs. I had every advantage and wanted for nothing growing up. I grew up in a two parent household with a younger brother and sister. I should have went to college and assimilated into society but I wanted to be the rebel. I wanted to be the outlaw and live that “rock star” like life. I never worked hard at anything and for me being a drug dealer was easy. I can honestly say that I thought I would never get caught and that up until entering prison I had always taken the easy way out in life.

Since I have been in prison I have gotten my AA degree from Pennsylvania State University, my BA degree from Iowa University and my MA degree from California State University. All through correspondence. I have bee lucky that my parents were in a position to pay for my education because without their financial assistence I would have never been able to accomplish what I have accomplished in that regard.

Around 1999 I started writing for publication, getting articles published in magazines and in 2005 I founded a publishing house, Gorilla Convict Publications, which has now published 3 of my books. I have a website at gorillaconvict.com which publishes my blog and has all my articles and reviews of my books and stuff like that. I am very proud of my writing and the fact that I have created something from nothing and Made a viable career for me for when I get out. I have more books planned and they will be coming out shortly and I will keep writing for magazines and for my website as I continue to hone my skills and build my resume so that I will have viable options when I come home. My only troubles with the law are my above stated case. I am a first time non violent offender.

18. What are you going through now?

Right now I am preparing to do my last couple of years on this sentence. i feel very close even though i have 48 months left. With the rdap drug program i can get 12 months off my sentence and with 6 months halfway house and 6 months home confinement i can be out of here by nov 2013. so that is really only two more years to go. i am doing everything i can to prepare myself for that day when i walk out of these gates. Mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. I am trying to get 6 more books ready to be published as i have a goal of having 10 books out before i am released and i am trying to put other peoples books out on my small publishing house and i am trying to write as many sellable screenplays as i can before i go home. Also i am trying to learn as much as i can about computers, social media and the internet. Everyday i just try to stay busy with my various projects and work out and keep my mind busy and stay out of the mix and bullshit that happens in prison.

Describe your vision of the best person you can become during the following time frames:

19. Time remaining to serve.

i need to get these 6 other books i am working on completed and out in the time that i have remaining to serve. i need to write several more screenplays and polish the ones i have written already. i need to bring all the various projects i am working on to their completion so that i have an extensive e body of work to represent myself and use as my resume when i come home. i need to keep my body in good shape and stay strong and lean and in the best shape i can be by watching what i eat and exercising regularly. i need to prepare my mind mentally and get out of any prison mindsets and get ready for  the world and for living with my wife and working and doing the things i need to do to be a productive citizen and to accomplish the goals i have set for myself when i get out.

20. One month after release.

One month after release i hope to have all the things i will need on a daily basis such as clothes, car, computer, credit cards, phone, etc. I hope to be settled and working and getting ready to make the transition form the halfway house home to my wife. even though whatever job i have at first will not be permanent i need to work to the best of my ability and continue preparing for my future.

21. One year after release.

One year after release i hope to be working for myself. i want to be building my small publishing house into a profitable company and i want to be developing the land my wife owns in Missouri so that we can make a maximum profit off it and move to California where i hope to get back into school to get my doctorate. I also will be continuing to build my network of support and utilizing all my contacts to set up my move into the entertainment and film business which i hope to have something set up by the time i want to move back to California, 2 years after i get out.

22. Five years after release.

five years after release i will be living in california in my own home and have my own production company. i will have completed my doctorate and will start lecturing and teaching at universities part time to supplement my income while i pursue my various film projects and bring them to completion. i will be a force in the entertainment and academic worlds.

23. How do those in society perceive people in prison?

People in society view people in prison as criminals. They consider us the worst of the worst. They figure you had to do something very bad to be in prison. They can’t see past the crime or past the fact that you are in prison. They believe that we belong here and that we deserve to do the time that we are doing.

24. Describe how television programs and movies depict prisoners:

movies and television depict prisoners as violent and conniving. what hollywood does is take the worst of the worst and use that stereotype for all prisoners. the killers, the conman, the gang leader, the psychosomatic mentally deranged crazy lunatic. this is why people have the view of prisoners that they do. growing up int he suburbs i imagined prison some dark and evil place where you could get killed or raped at any and every moment. Hollywood perpetuates this myth.

25. Compare and contrast your prison adjustment with the prison stereotype.

i have found that prison can be like the stereotypes but that is the rarity and not the norm. what they show in the movies does happen but it happens to like 1% of the prison population. and as you go down in security those percentages are less. like if you are in a USP you might have a 30 to 40% chance of getting stabbed. when you go to an FCI it goes down to 10 to 15% and then when you go a low it is probagbly like a 5% chance and then a camp maybe 1% if that. so that is a lot of people in prison that aren’t violent and aren’t doing all the things that the shawshank redemption and oz would have you believe they are doing. i have been able to write books and get college degrees while in prison. are there a lot of distractions? yes. are people in here loud and inconsiderate? yes. but you have to close out everything and focus and do what you want to do. nobody else is going to do it for you.

26. In what ways is your adjustment similar?

i would say my adjustment is not similar. in tv or the movies they would have you believe that the young white kid from the good family comes to prison and gets raped. that doesn’t happen. can it happen? yes. but it is like a 1% chance. it didn’t happen to me and i know several other white dudes from similar backgrounds as mine that came to prison and didn’t get raped. that is the worst case scenario. i have been in prison for almost 19 years and i don’t know anyone who has been raped. i have heard stories but to actually know someone? no. that is a vicious hollywood stereotype. there are a lot of gay dudes in here though and i’m sure a lot of that stuff goes on, homo stuff, but i have not been around it or even been a witenss to it. so even though you know it is going on it is not that prevelant like you are seeing it or something. i would say my adjustment has not been similar to what a hollywood movie would have you believe. in movies they have the old barred cells and everything is so brutal and violent and for real its not like that. yes peiople get hurt and stabbed and occasionally killed but usually those people bring that problem on themselves. they are involved in something like drugs, gambling or homosexual stuff. those are the danger things. there is a scarcity of resources in prison and dudes are willing to fight and even kill to control stuff like that. but that is more in the higher level places. not the lows or camps they are pretty tame and ot much is going on.

27. In what ways is your adjustment different?

see above

Describe what opportunities for personal growth and development exist in the different prison security levels:

28. High security.

At high security prisons the environment is vary volatile. their are opportunities for personal growth and development but it is most definitely harder in that environment. with all the noise and violence and lockdown and politics it is really hard to stay out of the way. hard but not impossible. everything in prison is about the security of the institution so anyone trying to improve themselves has serious battles to fight. against the administration, against the other prisoners and even against themselves. but it can be done it is just very hard. you have to stay out of the drama and stay out of the mix

29. Medium security.

it is a little easier to accomplish stuff at a med security prison but still difficult. when i began my journey at fci manchester in 1993 there were all types of obstacles they put in my path. i was doing my college correspondence work when they had the crack riots in 1995 and we were locked down for several months. i remember getting some of my college course books and doing the work and sending it in handwritten b/c i didn’t have access to a typewriter locked down in my cell. i was lucky that i had staff in education that supported me at different prisons iw as at. without support it would have been very hard. you run into all types of issue and i am just talking about doing my college correspondence courses.

30. Low security.

i had several bad experiences doing my college correspondence course in lows. one education administrator at fci fort dix approved all these course iw anted to take and then when the books came in he held them and wouldn’t give them to me. he said there were too many books and i wasn’t allowed to have them in my property. i had to get my parents to write a senator, who quickly contacted the prison education administrator. after that he gave me my books. sometimes i have had to go to extremes like this to get my educational and college materials. when i transferred from fort dix to fairton in 2002 fairton lost my college books and didn’t find them for like 3 months. you would thhink a low would be easier to get things done but sometimes that wasn’t the case. at fci lorreto in 2008 when i was working on my masters degree, the education supervisor allowed me to use the computers in the computer lab to write my thesis on and then halfway into it he took that right away. so i have had a lot of false starts and abrupt stops. also during my thesis iw as in the hole for an investigation for almost 4 months, which put that on hiatus. it was enforced of course.

31. Minimum security.

i have had no experiences in a camp yet. but i’m sure it is some more of the same bullshit.

32. Prior to release, what do prisoners generally say about their prospects for returning?

i think a lot of these dudes want to come back. they make it so easy especially in a low like i am in now. over half the people here shouldn’t even be in prison. theya re scared to death to do anything wrong for real. so i don’t sse how they got here in the first place. a lot of dudes going home seem to be really worried b/c they are unprepared and have no prospects, no money and no idea of what to expect. even now with all these dudes going home b/c of the crack law they seem unsure and almost agitated and stressing out. one dude i know just went home after 10 years inside he had 600 in his account no place to live, no job and no prospects, like 50 years old no family it was really sad he was stressing out something fierce before he left i hope he is ok but he will probably be violated.

33. In what ways, if any, do those who never return to prison serve their sentences differently from those who do return to prison?

I have seen guys to 10 or 15 get out and come back 2 years later with a fresh 20. prison isn’t really a deterrent. it is easy living. some dudes get more respect in here then they could ever get on the street or in the real world they are institutionalized and probably like it here better. i think that what i am doing and what mike has done will ensure that we never come back b/c we have a life outside these fences. we are prepared, we have prospects. i think that is what it is all about. being prepared and having prospects. some dudes have better prospects in here.

34. What steps can a prisoner take to improve chances of success upon release?

A prisoner can do everything possible to prepare for their eventual release but education is key. It is a proven and verifiable fact that education cuts down recidivism. Prisoners should do all they can to gain more knowledge in whatever field they choose so that they can apply that knowledge to something productive when they get out. It all has to be a part of the plan. Dudes in here talk about doing time and cutting themselves off from the world but in my opinion that is stupid and counterproductive. A prisoner doing a significant amount of time in prison, i.e. decades, like many of us are in the federal system, needs to have a plan in place and has to do all that they can to implement that plan and bring it all into action in whatever capacity they can. It is easy to say I can’t or they won’t let me or question how you can do that or this or whatever but to make anything work in any type of environment you have to plan, plan and plan some more. The prison administration no matter what they say about supporting rehabilitation will put whatever obstacle they can in a prisoner’s path to try and deter them from pursuing their stated and positive goal. They want prisoners to come back to prison. That is job security for them. So a prisoner must do everything he can to attain whatever it is he needs to attain to become a law abiding and successful citizen of this country upon release.

Sentence length is not a factor that is controlled from within prison, but adjustment inside prison may influence success upon release. For a better understanding of prison expectations, describe your thoughts on:

35. What length of time would you consider long-term imprisonment?

I believe anything longer than 5 years is long term. To take a person out of the world and leave them in suspended animation. Frozen to the outside world and its changes, including family, friends, technology and life in general is a big detriment to reentering society. But that is what the powers that be want because they have created a system of mass incarceration that suits their purposes. The purpose of providing employment for people that would otherwise probably not have anywhere to work due to the continued state of our economy. These people that work here are not brain surgeons or innovators by any means. Basically they are morons and working in the prison in a nice government paying job with benefits is the best they could ever aspire to. I have been in for almost 20 calendars so far and my journey is not done yet. I have learned a lot about this system and seen its effects on people both staff and prisoners. I have know lifers and I thank god that I have a date to get out, a light at the end of the tunnel. But to each his own, the 20 years in to me is the same as 1 year to someone else. Everybody has their own burden they must carry.

36. What expectations do those in society have for long-term prisoners?

I would say that society probably thinks that if we are released or when we are released that we will commit more crimes and go back to prison. they always publicize the cases of recidivism but never publicize the success stories. it is very rare that they put the spotlight on someone who did a lot of time, rehabilitated himself and came out and was successful. that is b/c our country is not about rehabilitation we are about punishment. the current thinking is just throw them away and bury the key. but that is wrong. just b/c you made a mistake like I did, selling marijuana and lasd at colleges while I was a teenager, doesn’t mean that my life should be forfeit or that my life is over.

37. What expectations do you suppose long-term prisoners have for themselves?

I would say a lot of them are very comfortable in prison b/c of the status they have from being in so long. I am sure everyone wants the chance to get out but a lot don’t know what to do when they get out b/c they haven’t prepared themselves. the prisons don’t help in anyway b/c they have no programs and they offer no tools for the long term prisoners to arm themselves with so that they can survive. it is really a sad state that such a world leading country like ours treats their citizens that make mistakes so bad.

38. What do prison administrators and staff members expect of long-term prisoners?

It is unspoken but they expect you to keep the younger and more volatile prisoners in line. there are always several long term prisoners on each unit. they don’t do this by mistake. they scatter the dudes that have been in a long time over the compound to help manage the prison so to speak. but it is all unspoken. they know a long term prisoner will lead in the units by example. after doing so much time a prisoner knows what is expected of him, how to act and how to stay out of staff’s way and let them do their jobs. so in reality that they expect long term prisoners to help manage the prison in their own way, but they would never admit this.

39. How would you define a “model inmate”?

a model inmate is one who always does what he is told and never questions the way things are or why staff is doing something a certain way. they don’t cause trouble or make waves and just take what they are given witho0ut complaining or saying anything. they steer clear of trouble makers and drugs and staying in the mix and all other things like gambling and drinking and hustling that go on in prison. they report the guards what is going on in the units and on the compound. that is a model inmate.

40. How does Michael’s prison journey support or refute prison stereotypes?

mike’s journey refutes the prison stereotype because he should be held up as a model prisoner for what he has achieved but he is not. he is seen as a subversive or radical just because of his writing and his desire to improve himself by gaining a college education. because he seeks routes outside the norm he is ridiculed and held up as an example of someone who thinks they are to good to be in prison. but mike has been doing exactly want he should be doing in a system that is set up for him to fail. a prisoner has to take extreme measures to succeed before they enter back in society and prisoners like mike and other participating in this program are doing the same.

41. What role did the prison infrastructure play in influencing Michael’s journey through prison?

I believe it hardened him and made him want to succeed more despite his circumstances. with so much against him he worked that much harder to get his education and to do the things that will help him to re enter society in a successful manner. it is a battle to get your education and to do positive stuff in here. you have to fight and fight and fight. you would think they would want you to do positive things to improve yourself and your chances to be successful when you emerge into the outside world but they don’t all they do is sit obstacle after obstacle in your path. as mikes journey shows.

42. What vision governed Michael’s decisions as a prisoner?

he knew he had a lot of time to do and that he would face tremendous odds when he got out so he spent every waking hour to do everything he could to improve his chances to succeed upon release. this is a fight, us against them. a tremendous fight. once you are branded they want to keep you down and in the system. they don’t want to let you loose. that is why there are so many negative stigmas attached to someone being an ex-con. the system is set up to make you lose. so you must work twice and three times as hard as the next man to make you succeed and mike realized this at a young age when he was thrust into the system with an extraordinary amount of time for such a young offender.

The Straight-A Guide includes seven attributes that he describes explicitly in the books Triumph!  And Success! What do the following attributes mean to you?

43. Attitude: What level of commitment do you make to preparing for success upon release?

I have committed the all of me in everything I do. I know it is succeed or bust. there are no second chances. I was hit with a 25 year sentence for a first time non violent offense, it took a while for the severity of what happened to me to sink in. nine years almost but when I realized what my true circumstances were and the obstacles I would be facing I devoted all my time to improving myself and doing things that would enable me to come home and to live free and to be successful in the field that I have chosen to pursue. this is not something I just decided to do right before I got out this is something I have been working on since 2002. this is what I have devoted all my time to. defining and preparing myself for a career of my choosing so that when I get out I can do what I want and make money and be successful.

44. Aspiration: Where do you see yourself at various checkpoints in the future?

By the end of 2013 I see myself going home to my wife in St Louis Missouri. I see myself furthering my company gorilla convict by getting national distribution deals for my books and other products and further distinguishing and strengthening my brand that I have been developing over the last several years. I see myself  getting into documentaries and teaching myself how to make and edit films and trying to bring some oft he scripts I have wrote to fruition. I see myself moving back to California within 2 years and then really getting into the entertainment business with my various projects and ideas and making an impact in the film industry.

45. What distinguishes an aspiration from a fantasy?

the drive, know how, wherewithal and ambition to make it a reality. like obviously if I say I want to go play professional sports that is a fantasy. I am 41 years old and way past my athletic prime. but what I have outlined is possible and I have been working toward those goals with everything that I do and every connection that I make.

46. Action: What steps are you taking toward aspiration?

I am continuing to write books and get them published from in here. I have 5 out now with plans for another 5 at least and I am writing scripts. I have 3 completed screenplays and plans to write at least 7 more before I get out. I have a t-shirt, poster and sticker line featuring the gangsters I write about in my books. I plan to have a line of 15-20 t-shirts, stickers and posters by the time I come home so everything will be in place for me to network and try to get a national distribution deal for my products or to sell the company and move on to my next goal of making documentaries and films. right now I am reading as much as I can on film making, social media and I am taking all the computer classes I can to learn how to operate all the computer programs that people are using in the world.

47. Accountability: How are you measuring progress?

by setting goals and accomplishing them. by publishing books. by taking my ideas and turning them into products and marketing them. I still have a ways to go but I am confident I will have everything done that I want done by the time I get out. each book I publish, each item we create and put up for sale on my website is one more steep I take toward my goals. each book read and knowledge that I gain moves me closer to where I want to go. I move forward all the time and always look toward the future.

48. Awareness: How knowledgeable are you about the atmospherics around you?

I know where I am I know what can happen at any time. I do what I can do to avoid problems. I stay to myself, I work and I workout and I get my projects done. I am not very social able. these people here don’t really have anything to offer me and my involvement with them can only lead to trouble. not to say there aren’t good people in here there are but they are the few and far between. so I stick to my script and stay out of the way and avoid all the drama and politics of prison life.

49. In what ways do you reach beyond the boundaries that currently confine you?

through the mail, phone and email I can communicate with a number of people. I am lucky that my wife helps me do everything that I do. she keeps me in touch with people through Facebook and other networking sites and acts as my agent, manager, secretary and publisher. she helps me edit and craft all my stories and put my books together. so it is me and her against the world. that is how I do my time. one accomplishment at a time. we are a team. I am the inspiration and the idea man and she is the facilitator. she helps to stay in touch with the world. I live my life outside these fences that way. it keeps me focused and lets me accomplish what I am trying to in this very restrictive and oppressive environment.

50. What do you know about the challenges that will confront you upon release?

I know that I will experience many challenges, most of which will be technological. When I came to prison in 1993 there was no Internet, smartphones, ipads or anything like that. I will be going out into a technological and progressive world and I am not the least bit tech savvy but I will learn. I will also experience challenges with just normal day-to-day living and adjusting to being free and living in an unrestrictive environment but I am ready. I have been preparing myself as much as I can to deal with everything I have to deal with.

51. Achievement: When do you celebrate success?

I do not know that I have. I am not where I want to be yet. I am still positioning myself. One day when I feel I have achieved all that I want to and I am in a comfortable position I will look back and celebrate. I hope to be in position one day where I own my own house and properties and where I can travel with my wife to see things we want to see. That will be my celebration but I am not ready to celebrate yet I still have a lot of work to do.

52. Appreciation: What role do others have in your success?

My wife plays the biggest role as she facilitates all that I do with my writing, books and stuff. Without her, the road would be much harder. My mother and father have helped tremendously also by supplying finances to get my college degree while I have been in here and helping me out in other ways financially as I have done my time. In addition, I have a vast network of associates who are either in the magazine business as editors or owners who have helped me a lot with places to publish my work and forums to advertise my books. Also numerous other writers and websites that have helped to publicize my work and me. Without all their help and interest in what I am doing, nobody would have ever known. They have helped to let the world know what is going on with my writing and me and I am grateful for that.

53. Where did those choices lead?

The decisions I made earlier in life when I was a teenager led to me being incarcerated and having all this time that I have been doing. If I had the insight and even foresight that I do now if could have avoided all that has happened to me and focused my talents and desires at a young age but in reality I was lost. I knew I wanted to make money but I went about it the totally wrong way. My thinking process was clouded by all the marijuana I was smoking, all the alcohol, and other drugs I was consuming. Instead of living up to, my positive potential I lived up to my negative potential and a 25-year drug sentence was the result. Thinking back, I needed someone to hit me in he head with a brick. going through this guide and adopting the principles and lessons it holds is the same as being hit in the head with a brick. It makes you realize, it makes you wake up. that is something I wish I did at a much younger age.

54. What did you value then?

I don’t know that I valued anything. I might have valued what I thought I was. The image of being an outlaw or a drug dealer. I thought it was kind of romantic. I wanted to be the bad boy. the martyr the tragic one. I got what I wanted. Would I change who I am today? no but I know I could have made this advancement to the stage I am at now a much easier way. Me coming to prison is akin to me banging my head against a wall for years and years and years before I finally figured it out. not even to say that I have it all figured out now I am still learning with each and every day.

55. How would you guide your children if they were making choices in the same way?

I believe with me it would have taken something drastic b/c when I was young I though I knew everything and nobody could tell me anything so any kids of mine would probably have the same attitude so it would have to be something drastic to make them see the errors of their ways. Some type of tough love b/c I know it would have taken someone to move mountains to make me listen. I was that hardheaded and set in my ways. its like when you are young and an older more experienced person tells you one of those sayings like “a tiger can’t change its stripes” and as a youngster I would think that is stupid. Now as an older wiser man, I know exactly what it means.

56. What would you do differently if you could?

Well obviously, I would not have sold drugs and I would have directed my energies toward some positive pursuit as I have shown that I can do. If I would have known, what I know now it would have been different but you live and learn. I would not change who I am. I like who I am. It is just a shame that I had to go through all this to become the man I am today.

57. Describe the differences in your life today from the first days of your confinement.

I was a kid when I came in naive in some ways, well in a lot of ways. Not just of prison but of the ways of the world. I am much wiser now in so many ways. I am focused where as before I was somewhat lost. I a dedicated now whereas before I was somewhat drifting. I have learned a lot and I have made efforts to apply all that I have learned so that I can be productive and get stuff done and live up to my word as a man.

58.  How have your activities from last week led to your activities for this week?

Everything I do builds on the simple premise of all that I am trying to accomplish. one goal fits in with the other. Its all little steps that lead to a whole of me being successful and emerging from prison and not reverting to crime so that I can live in the outside world free. That is something I am teaching myself to do and something that I still need to learn to do due to me being involved in drugs from my early teenage years. I know it will not be easy but I build and I build and I build one step at a time and in tiny increments I have been preparing myself for the ultimate goal which is release and me coping and prospering in the real world.

59. Identify the values by which you live.

I live by the values of loyalty, honor, and respect and not in the twisted prison senses of the world. my strong relationships are with people on the outside and I strive to keep my word to them and to do what I say I am going to do. It can only be who I am and I can’t be anyone else so I try to just be myself and have people identify me with the same values as I identify myself. I am a trustworthy, honest, loyal, intelligent and ambitious person and I tend to gravitate toward like-minded people. I try to live within these codes that I have set for myself and to stay disciplined when it comes to them and how I carry myself and how I act.

60. To what extent do your daily activities harmonize with the values by which you live?

I have to stay out of the mix on the prison compound and not get involved with the people here b/c most of the people in here are pieces of shit. they do not have very many redeeming qualities. You can meet a good guy here and there but most of the people you meet in prison are not worth knowing so I stick to myself and stay out of the way and avoid the drama. its like an obstacle course in here and you have to constantly dodge the different barriers and objects that are put in your way so that you don’t fall prey to the prison mentality or buy into b/c if you do you can go to the edge of that cliff and jump off and who knows what will happen. I am through with that type of behavior. I want to live my life in a productive manner and just spend time with my wife and enjoy my various professional pursuits and projects that I will get into when I come home. Basically in here it is a constant battle to stay focused and do what you have to do to make sure you succeed when you come home but it is very necessary and you are crazy if you don’t do what you need to do to prepare for your eventual release.

61. How do your professed values relate to your perceived role in society?

I believe that I can assimilate to society very easily. I have a structured environment to go do. I have a house, a wife, a business to run and a career to pursue. These are not things I had before coming to prison. These are things I acquired during my incarceration. It can be done, yes I have had some help but the most help to me has a been my own drive and determination. Everything that I am doing will translate to society. I am a man of my word and I don’t bullshit and I know just like in here most people in the world are full of shit and like they say the crème always rises to the top and I am the crème of the crop, in prison or without.

62. Where does your allegiance lie?

My allegiance lies with my wife and my family with my network of support that I have met and cultivated from in here. The people that have overseen my journalistic, writing and college career. The ones who have helped me. That is where my allegiance lies and mostly it lies within me and to myself. I most be loyal to myself and who I am and what I want to do and not let anything get in the way of my success in the real world. I most do all I can, I the most positive sence of the notion, to provide for myself and my wife and my family.

63. Are values situational or absolute?

I believe they are absolute you can’t keep switching what you believe in as the wind blows you must stick to your values and face whatever may come.

 

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