Choon Yong-Earning Freedom-Conquering a 45 Years Prison Term

Author of Book: Michael G Santos
Date Read: August 4, 2023

Book Report

Begin: 7/28/2023
Finished: 8/4/2023

Why I chose to read this book:
I was fascinated at how Michael Santos could weather the 45 years sentence. How he endured the different levels of US Prisons: United States Penitentiary (USP), Federal Correctional Institute (FCI), and Satellite Prison Camps (SCP). I also wanted to know about how he was mistreated by BOP officials who tries to perpetuate failure by suppressing his efforts to advance himself. Most important, I wanted to know how he carries out his daily routine to avoid mixing with hardened criminals, generate support and mentors for his cause, and how he prepared for success in his reentry into the community.

What I learned from this book:
From his holding cell and at the USP Atlanta, Michael knew he had to accept responsibility for his crime before he could move forward with life. To avoid mixing with hardened criminals; got up early while everyone is still in bed, avoid the mass hold when possible, took jobs that minimize interaction with other inmates, and keep to himself, and spend his time doing productive things as listed in his plan of actions. To improve himself and prepare to be a contributing member of society he develops goals:

  1. Education.
  2. Contribute to society and
  3. Build a support network.

In order to endure and survive in the BOP system that’s designed to perpetuate failure, Michael had to endure lots of harassment from BOP officials who are jealous of his accomplishments. They would lock him up in Special Housing Units (SHU) without reason and frequently transfer to other facilities o get rid of Him for causing too much problems for them. Michael knew he needed a plan in prison to accomplish his goals and a successful reentry into society as a contributing citizen. His plan:

  1. Define success at Different stages.
  2. Create plans that would lead to incremental steps of success.
  3. Put Priorities in place.
  4. Build Tools, Tactics, and resources that would advance his plan.
  5. Develop accountability metrics to measure progress.
  6. Execute his plan daily.
  7. Be aware of opportunities.
  8. Live authentically and honestly.
  9. Celebrate incremental achievements.
  10. Show appreciation for the blessings in life.

He has a wife that stood by and supported him through his ordeal in Prison, also he develop a wide network of support groups to help him perpetuate his goal of helping other inmates and at-risk youth. His website helped lots of inmates to make them aware that they too can prepare for success after their release from prison.

How this book will contribute to my success upon my release:
This book prepares me for life in Prison. Be vigilant of the obstacles and awareness of disciplinary infractions that might crop up during my incarceration. I have developed my own release plan to navigate through my incarceration and set up goals: a) Educate and acquire knowledge, b) Contribute to Society and c) develop a support network and mentors to help me be successful upon my release. I also develop the plans used by Michael as listed above to help me manage my time efficiently in prison. Also, I have memorialized my journey in prison by journaling in my daily diary, prepared book reports on books that I have read, and also on the courses that I have completed. This information will be published on the internet for the public and my future probation officers to see and also validate that my time in prison is spent wisely. The knowledge which I have gained will allow me to effectively volunteer my efforts to the Immigrant, underserved, and Geriatric communities.