S hon Hopwood’s unusual legal journey began not at law school, but federal prison, where he learned to write briefs for other prisoners while serving a 12-year sentence for bank robberies. Two petitions for certiorari he prepared were later granted review by the United States Supreme Court, and he won cases for other prisoners in federal courts across the country. Since he became a licensed attorney, Shon’s record of success has continued. In 2016 alone, he won three federal habeas appeals before the Fourth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Shon is currently an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, which is located in Washington D.C. and is considered one of the top law schools in the United States. He is an expert on federal courts, criminal procedure (including federal sentencing), and prisoners’ rights.
His amazing story about success after prison has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, NPR, and the Seattle Times. Shon co-wrote his memoir entitled Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Cases and Finding Redemption. Shon is an also advocate for criminal justice reform and his scholarship on courts and the criminal justice system has been published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties, Fordham, and Washington law reviews, the Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, and the American Criminal Law Review.
Shon received a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar. He clerked for Judge Janice Rogers Brown at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as a Teaching Fellow at Georgetown’s Appellate Litigation Program.
Shon is currently a tenure-track professor of law at Georgetown Law School. He is a founding partner at PrisonProfessors.com and he works to create content that will improve outcomes of our nation’s criminal justice system. Readers may contact Shon by writing Shon@PrisonProfessors.com
M ichael Santos served 26 years in federal prisons of every security level. While incarcerated he earned a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University and a master’s degree from Hofstra University. Michael’s preparations during his first decade prepared him to write several books (including Earning Freedom and Inside: Life Behind Bars in America) that university professors use to educate students about the prison system.
Prison Professor teaches lessons that empower you to live a life of relevance before, during, and after confinement.
Michael Santos shows clients how to make productive use of time while preparing for success upon release. While incarcerarted, Michael married his wife, Carole, and supported her while climbing through his final decade. His earnings while in prison allowed Carole to return to school to became a registered nurse.
Besides supporting his family, upon Michael’s release he had saved sufficient resources from earnings while incarcerated to live for longer than a year without a dime of income. Preparations led to numerous business and career opportunities. San Francisco State University hired him to begin teaching only 17 days after he walked out of prison.
Despite serving more than a quarter century in prisons of every security level, preparations Michael Santos made inside allowed him to return to society strong, with his dignity intact. He developed a career as an educator and consultant to the criminal justice system. Michael serves on the advisory panel for the Robina Institute of Criminal Law.
I offer consultation services to help people prepare for the best possible outcome from struggle. If your’e facing a criminal charge, contact me for a free consultation to learn how I can help: 415-419-1728.
S eth Ferranti was 22 years old when he was convicted of participating in a first-time, nonviolent drug conspiracy. His judge sentenced him to serve a 25-year sentence in federal prison back in 1993. Seth’s story provides us with a remarkable journey of success through prison. Seth’s personal history reveals him as a true prison professor.
While facing a quarter century in prison, Seth began to prepare for success. He studied through college courses while at the Federal Correctional Institution, in Manchester, Kentucky. The prison was rated as a medium-security FCI. It also held high-security prisoners.
The Bureau of Prisons changed policies in 1996 that made it more difficult to complete college programs. Seth learned how to overcome those obstacles in prison. He started an educational journey of independent study that would span close to two decades. While in prison, he persuaded universities to structure correspondence programs for him. In time, he earned an Associate’s, a Bachelor’s, and finally he earned a Master’s degree. He studied journalism, creative writing, literature, and history courses. Seth used his talents to build a career writing about true crime for several publications.
By connecting with the outside world, Seth built hope. He became a positive force and voice for both prison and sentence reform. Eventually, Seth began writing books. Seth published eight books before his release in 2015. His publishing credentials established Seth’s career as a writer while he was still incarcerated.
Seth also married Diane while he was incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution, in Gilmer, West Virginia. He nurtured his marriage with Diane and prepared for success while concluding the final decade of his imprisonment.
Upon his release, in 2014, Seth began earning a living through his publishing career. He writes about people he met in prison, and he writes about challenges many people face after release. Seth has parlayed his success through prison into a budding career as a filmmaker. He writes and participates in productions for television and film. Seth’s remarkable story of success through prison and beyond prompted his probation officer to end his term on Supervised Release after only one year—two years ahead of schedule.
Seth met Michael Santos while they were serving time together at the Federal Correctional Institution, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He applied the principles that empowered Michael to navigate his way through the Bureau of Prisons. By making a commitment to the Straight-A Guide program that Prison Professors offers, Seth returned to society successfully.
Seth Ferranti is a valued member of the Prison Professors team. Seth shows others how to prepare for the best possible outcome if they’ve been charged with a crime.
A re you a prison professor? Have you mastered the prison experience? If you’re passionate about working to help more people understand our nation’s prison system, or strategies to grow through the system, please contact us. We need more writers to join our team and we would like to hear from you. Contact Michael@michaelsantos.com.
Or call 415-419-1728.
Learn how system operates. The more you know and understand, and the sooner you know and understand, the more you restore your sense of peace. Reclaim your balance as you navigate challenges of a criminal prosecution. Working with Prison Professor puts your future back in your hands.
Our lessons will teach you how to prepare a comprehensive sentence-mitigation package. You will learn how to think creatively about steps you can take today to build a better tomorrow. If you need personal guidance, then our experts at Prison Professor are ready to work with you directly.
Develop effective strategy that will put you in the best possible position to influence the sentence your judge imposes. Help your judge to see you as more than your current charges. Our lesson plans provide a deliberate approach to prepare the documentation your attorney will need to make a persuasive case for the lowest possible sentence.
Learn about the different levels of custody and security that prison systems operate. Prepare before you’re sentenced to ensure that you serve your sentence in the best possible environment. Decisions you make at the earliest stages have an enormous influence on where you serve your time. You owe it to your family to work toward serving your sentence in the least-stressful environment possible.
Learn a best-practice approach to mastering the journey of confinement. Prison cultures differ in fundamental ways from the broader society. Through our lessons, develop insight that teaches you how to prosper in an environment that derails a sense of relevance for so many. Your due diligence will show why our lessons can help you.
You can begin taking measurable steps that will ensure you return to society strong, with your dignity in tact. Too many people abandon hope after they face indictment. Rather than working toward a clearly definable approach to a better life, they resign to fate. At Prison Professor, we offer an action plan that will get you back on the path to success.
We offer a series of lesson plans that you may download and read in the comfort of your home. Each lesson covers a specific topic that will empower anyone facing a criminal prosecution. The lessons conclude with questions that will help each defendant grasp strategies that he or she can embark upon today. Those efforts will help the client restore a sense of meaning and relevance while working toward the best possible outcome.
Clients may also sign up for webinars that our prison professors teach. Those webinars provide clients with an opportunity to learn from others who are going through the similar predicament of a criminal prosecution. Prison Professors lead the group webinar through a video screen-share system. Prison Professors respond to all questions, providing clients with insight they may rely upon as they prepare for the journey ahead.
Prison Professor also works closely with clients who want assistance in documenting their good works. Those services are personal, requiring extensive amounts of time for interviewing, fact gathering, and creative writing. Individuals who require assistance in presenting their situation in the most favorable light for a probation officer who completes the Presentence Investigation Report, and the judge, will find enormous value by participating in the process of documenting prior successes in life.
Those who want to learn more about how they can prepare for the Presentence Investigation, the Residential Drug Abuse Program, earliest possible placement in a residential reentry center, or early termination of Supervised Release, will find enormous value through the structured consultation plan. Contact Prison Professor today to develop a personal scope-of-work in a consulting agreement.