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About Prison (Wadsworth Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice) [Paperback]

Michael G. Santos
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 4, 2003 0534623557 978-0534623555 1
In this unique and extraordinary text, Michael G. Santos helps others learn about the abnormal way of life behind the walls and fences of prisons. To provide readers with a more complete and realistic picture of the growing subculture that exists in prison, the author provides both his own experiences and observations of living as a prisoner, as well as dialogues, vignettes, and profiles of other prisoners and workers within the prison environment. This text addresses the unprecedented growth in the prison system over the past two decades, and asks future correctional professionals to critically examine the current prison system.

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About Prison (Wadsworth Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice) + Inside: Life Behind Bars in America
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Editorial Reviews


1. Entry into the Criminal Justice System. 2. After Conviction. 3. From the Pierce County Jail to the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta. 4. USP Atlanta: First Encounters. 5. Prison Society. 6. Managing Chaos. 7. FCI McKean: A New Experience. 8. A Prison Disturbance at McKean. 9. Fort Dix: Low-Security Living. 10. My Own Way of Surviving the Sentence. 11. A Prisoner's Suggestions.

About the Author

Michael G. Santos began his life as a federal prisoner in 1987, at age twenty-three, in a maximum-security prison. Since then, he has spent a few years as a medium-security prisoner, and he is now confined in the low-security prison at Fort Dix, in New Jersey. While confined, Santos has completed a BA and a MS degree in criminal justice and is now working to help educate both the prison population and those outside of prison walls about prison life.

Product Details

  • Series: Wadsworth Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (August 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0534623557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0534623555
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Prison May 26, 2004
By A Customer
"Prisoners advance themselves in the social hierarchy in ways that are totally incongrous with outside society. Concepts like integrity, Michael Santos writes in his in depth and analytical look into prison life and it's culture. And Michael Santos isn't some criminology professor who never stepped foot inside an institution without a cadre of guards escourting him. Michael Santos is a convicted felon who has served 17 calendar years to date and who will not be released until 2013. So he knows what he's talking about as he's been incarcerated at USP Atlanta, FCI McKean, FCI Fort Dix and not FPC Florence.
His book is a tru look into the dangerous and grimy world of prison through an academics eye for detail and retrospection.
With a Masters degree in criminology Michael has educated himself while immersed in the belly of the beast. He is the most qualified person in America to write a book about prison having been confined and lived in prison for most of his adult life while pursuing his studies and overcoming all the obstacles thrown in his way due to his dwelling in America's gulags. The book covers all aspects of prison life from entry to the underground economy to the twisted ideals to the pitfalls one can encounter in the depths of America's prison industrial complex. An intriguing and fascinating look into the federal Bureau of Prisons which exists in it's own alternate reality so different from the real world and society in which most people live. So come and take a journey into the netherworld of corruption and violence which many Americans call home.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Seamus
I loved this book. Santos should be writing for the Sopranos. The characters he presents are that brutal and that funny. Here is one example of a prisoner, "Lunatic," describing his treatment in the Pelican Bay Supermax prison (from page #46 of Inside):

"Shee-it," Lunatic told me. "Hog-tyin' ain't the worst thing they do to a muthafu_ka. Them crackas strapped me down in a four post. I told one of them bitc_es to s_ck my di_k. Next thing I know they spreadin' a nigga out like Jesus, lockin' my arms and legs to one of them posts on each co'ner of the concrete rack. I'm lyin facedown, naked, pissin and shi_tin myself from the mo'nin' to the night shift. It's fu-ked up."

Santos also goes on to tell funny stories about female Bureau of Prison (BOP) employees that sell their bodies for money to various inmates. In all, Inside is great entertainment. Although Santos very much wants his readers to believe that prisons should offer inmates a way to earn their release from prison early, I am sure the average reader will walk away from this book with exactly the opposite feeling. Almost every character Santos presents in this book is incorrigible and belongs in prison for a very long time.

Keep writing, Mike, but remember there are some types of broke you just can't fix.
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