Michael Santos, a Lake Forest Park native, recently wrote about his experiences adjusting to the outside world -- learning about iPhones and relearning about real silverware -- after serving more than 20 years in federal prison for drug trafficking.
Santos, who graduated from Shorecrest High School in 1982, was 23 when he was arrested and incarcerated in 1987 for being a leader in a drug trafficking ring, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison, but according to the article, his sentence was reduced for good behavior and he has been released under community confinement, which means that he still reports to a halfway house.
According to the Chronicle, while incarcerated, Santos earned a college degree, got remarried and wrote a book, "Inside: Life Behind Bars in America," which was released in 2007 through major publisher St. Martin's Griffin Press, and several other books about life in prison.
Online news magazine Slate recently republished Santos' Quora posting about life on the outside after more than 20 years in prison.
About technology he wrote:
Technology is a big change, of course. I wrote a post recently that describes the type of technology that was available to me back in 1987. During the time I served, I read extensively about technology, but I didn’t have opportunities to use it. While in prison, I dreamed about accessing the Internet directly. Now I have an iPhone, a MacBook Pro, and an iMac. I have a website that I’m trying to learn how to use effectively to promote my work. I’m contributing to Quora regularly, to LinkedIn, to Facebook, and to Twitter. But I don’t really understand the best practices for social media, and so I’m frequently being reprimanded for being an “advert.” I didn’t even know what that meant until my wife told me that I wasn’t supposed to use social media to advertise my work. That didn’t make sense to me. But there is a lot that doesn’t make sense to me. I’m eager to learn more. Perhaps I’ll have new perspectives in a few months.
Every day brings me a greater sense of gratitude.
The post also describes what it was like to relearn to drive, the way people dress, and getting used to using silverware after decades of prison-issue.
He said the biggest change was spending time with his wife, Carole (Goodwin) Santos, a fellow Shorecrest graduate who reconnected with him while he was in prison.
Carole and Michael Santos now live in Northern California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.