Professor Joan Petersilia and Professor Robert Weisberg
Stanford Law School Professors, Co-directors of Stanford Criminal Justice Center
“Let us emphasize that while both of us have been involved in criminal justice studies for over 30 years, neither one of us has ever before written a letter supporting any action for any other prisoner. … Mr. Santos’s case is so amazing and compelling that we are making a unique exception for him.”
“Mr. Santos has become a serious scholar of the criminal justice system. His extensive writings transcend any ideological criticism of the American criminal justice system and or any personal self-justification. Rather, he has read and written widely about contemporary policy debates on penal policy. As a result, once released, he will be able to work steadily and productively as a writer and researcher as well as a counselor to other released inmates. In that regard, as noted in more detail below, we have already told Mr. Santos that we look forward to an association between him and our Stanford Criminal Justice Center.”
“One of the striking features of his essays is that he weaves personal experience into his intellectual analysis, and yet he never does so in ways that portray himself as the victim of injustice. Rather, he takes advantage of his personal perspective in offering general insights about penal policy and feasible programs for reform.”
“On the basis of the work he has already done, we regard Mr. Santos as a writer and very eminent policy analyst in the field of sentencing and corrections. We also welcome his great wisdom about the most needed and feasible improvements in reentry practice and programs. We therefore hope to have him work with us in a number of roles, including teaching guest classes in our course at Stanford Law School and serving as a research collaborator on key projects with both faculty and students.”
(comments from June 8, 2012 letter to U.S. Probation)
Professor John DiIulio, University of Pennsylvania
Professor of Politics, Religion and Civil Society
“In 1994 I led a class of Princeton freshmen in a seminar on “Philosophy of Crime and Punishment.” The class visited several prisons and met and interviewed many prison officials and inmates. None, however, made more of a lastin gimpression on the class than Mr. Michael Santos. Just how lasting can be gleaned from the fact that earlier this year, I gave a lecture at Yale University and encountered there a student, now in her thirties, who was in that class. Her first reflections included reference to our visit with Mr. Santos.”
“What I have learned since regarding his academic writings; his service to other educators and students; his service to wider communities and at-risk youth; and his efforts to assist in the rehabilitation of his fellow inmates indicates that Mr. Santos has had as substantial an impact on preventing and reducing crime as any individual in confinement could.”
“The record since, such at least as I know of it, would underline those words and indicate that Mr. Santos via his extraordinary literary, communications, at-risk youth assistance, and related efforts has undoubtedly contributed to the rehabilitation of others and more generally to crime prevention, reduction, and public safety.”
(comments from September 4, 2009 letter to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington)
Professor George F. Cole
Professor Emeritus, The University of Connecticut
“Michael Santos is perhaps unique among those confined to American prisons and jails. Throughout his… incarceration he …made substantial contributions to the criminal justice research community, criminology students, fellow inmates, and the general public through his many publications, website, conference presentations, and rehabilitative efforts.”
“I have known Michael G. Santos since 1992 when he asked me to guide his academic plan. At that time he was pursuing the Master of Arts degree offered by Hofstra University through independent student while confined at USP Atlanta. Over the past 17 years I have advised his academic pursuits. In 1995 he enrolled in the graduate Ph.D> program at The University of Connecticut and completed an excellent independent study under my direction. “
(comments from September 1, 2009 letter to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington)
Professor Todd R. Clear, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University
“There can be no doubt that Michael’s efforts have served the public interest and enhanced public safety. He has had this effect in two ways. First, his writings have become some of the most highly regarded work on imprisonment and rehabilitation among introductory textbooks on corrections. His essays, read by perhaps 30,000 undergraduates every year, show in dramatic and convincing fashion what it means to be sentenced to prison for a serious crime, how doing time affects the people who go to prison, and what a person who is confined needs to do to become a part of society after release. When young people read his work–especially those who plan to pursue a career in the justice professions–they get a view of crime and punishment that must surely enrich their understanding of the criminal justice system. They also get a glimpse of the fascinating work that is before them should they stay in the profession. I am sure he is partly responsible for a whole cadre of young people deciding to work in the field of corrections because of what they might be able to accomplish there.”
“Michael’s contributions have been unique and extraordinary.”
(comments from September 21, 2009 letter to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington)
J. Colin Harris, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies and Chairman, Department of Liberal Studies, Mercer University
“Through [Michael Santos’] exemplary citizenship in the community of incarceration, through his writings, which have addressed many aspects of the prison experience and their relation to the wider context of personal responsibility, and through is participation…he has demonstrated an ability to make an extraordinary contribution to the quest of others to find and embrace a meaningful life, whether in a context of finding courage to overcome the consequence of serious mistakes or in a distant college classroom, where adult students of all ages address the meaning of integrity, courate, and redemption. In my own setting, hundreds of students over the years have read his work, studied his experience, and reflected on the place of choices int he shaping of personal and societal destinies.”
(comments from February 16, 2007 letter to Rodger Adams, Pardon Attorney)
Jeffrey B. Snipes, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, San Francisco State University
We at SF State have been fortunate beyond words. Michael will be keynote speaker at our CJ graduation banquet this May, for our graduating class of 262 students. I’m honored that the first campus Michael set foot on is SFSU.
President, Families Against Mandatory Minimums
Former Secretary of Corrections for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Professor at Sonoma State University
Third year Law and Criminology undergraduate at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
My name is Callum Fordyce and I am a third year Law and Criminology undergraduate at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Recently for a Criminology paper on prison culture I used your book Inside: Life Behind Bars in America as a significant source in my essay. After I had completed the paper, I continued to read your other works at my own leisure due to how enthralled I was at the incredible life you have led. You are an example of someone who has truly turned their life around when the odds are stacked against them in the face of enormous adversity. The sole reason I am writing to you is to let you know how inspiring your story is, and that it is even affecting people on the other side of the world in tiny countries such as New Zealand.
(comment received through website)