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249: NY State Prison to Media Spokesperson on Prison Issues

Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Release Date: 03/20/2016

Prison to Paradise show art Prison to Paradise

Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Do you have a solid, actionable plan to build financial stability or prosperity in your future? That’s a question that relatively few Americans ask themselves. Those who want to do more than ask questions take action. It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to put yourself on the path to prosperity.  I’m Michael Santos with Alternative Investment Seminars. During this 20-minute video, I’ll teach how my wife Carole and I went from literally ground zero to exceed $5 million in assets within five years. We used leverage to invest in real estate. Now we’re using leverage to...

Audry Spade Interview show art Audry Spade Interview

Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Questions from Audry Spade   So Michael, you were in your early 20’s when you were convicted and sent to prison. I'm curious about your childhood and the influences you had growing up. How did you arrive at the decision to pursue crime?    What kind of technology do you remember people using back before your arrest in 1987?    You were arrested for drug trafficking and ultimately sentenced to serve 45 years in prison. Describe that first day of your sentence.    What did your days in prison consist of years into your sentence, after that initial...

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Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Federal authorities charged Brett with federal crimes. Since he had worked for several years as a police officer, the criminal charges derailed his life. He decided to cooperate with authorities in exchange for leniency at sentencing. Brett talks about how he has rebounded with a new career since being dismissed from the police force.

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Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Luis Rivera succeeded in being released from federal prison, even though a judge sentenced him to serve a life sentence plus 140 years. Learn how his adjustment in prison contributed to his early release and his success.

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A federal judge sentenced Luis Rivera to life in prison, plus 140 years. In Part 2 of Luis's story, we learn how Luis adjusted in a high-security federal prison and we learn how he positioned himself for early release from federal prison.

273: Conquering Life in Prison, Part 1 show art 273: Conquering Life in Prison, Part 1

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In 1995, a federal judge sentenced Luis Rivera to a term of life in prison, plus 140 years. In this episode on Earning Freedom, Luis describes his early adjustment. From his appearance on the Earning Freedom podcast, we know that Luis was released from prison and he now lives as law abiding citizen. Learn how he got out after 30 years in prison.

272: Drug Addiction to Prison to Success show art 272: Drug Addiction to Prison to Success

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Derek Sauceda began using drugs when he was 10. His drug addictions led him into crime. His crime led him into a series of prison terms that kept him locked in cages for more than 24 years. Now he is a successful case manager with Fathers and Families of San Joaquin Valley. From Derek's story we see that a path exists to overcome struggle.

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Big D was drawn to the streets as a young man. He looked up to drug dealers and gangsters. Authorities arrested Big D and after his trial, he was sentenced to a term that required him to serve more than 20 years in Pennsylvania prisons. Big D said that he wasted his first 10 years of confinement. Instead of adjusting positively, he lived in prison just as he had been living on the streets. He used drugs and he was engaged in violence. In today's Earning Freedom episode, Big D talks about how he changed.

270: From Violent Offender to Contributing Citizen show art 270: From Violent Offender to Contributing Citizen

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Today I spoke with Billie Gomez, a man who shared a story about his transformation. Billie spoke about growing up in a violent neighborhood and being influenced by gangs. By the time he was 18, he went to prison with a five year sentence. His adjustment in prison led to his receiving additional time. Upon his release from prison, Billie reverted to criminal behavior. Billie picked up a gun within two weeks of being released, and he used the gun to commit more crimes. That behavior led to his receiving a new 18-year sentence for a violent offense. Listen to Billie talk about how he...

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Lessons that powered me through 26 years of imprisonment apply to anyone. In today's podcast, I share those strategies with the sales force at Resort Advisory Group.

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Erik Jensen on Earning Freedom podcast

At the very tender age of 11, Erik Jensen was living in an abusive, single parent household with daily violence fueled by alcoholism. He sought escape on the streets, committing theft, selling and using drugs, and was always in trouble with the law until Erik found himself in some of the worst prisons in New York.

From his late teens to mid-twenties Erik was convicted on an array of charges including Robbery in the Second Degree, Promoting Prison Contraband, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree. He ended up serving 12 years collectively in the New York State Department Of Corrections. He did his time at Greene, Franklin, Watertown, Bare Hill, Five Points, Attica, and in 2011-2012 at the now infamous Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. It was there he became well acquainted with inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt. On June 6, 2015, the two convicted murderers pulled off one of the most daring prison escapes in recent history.

            During his imprisonment Erik was witness to atrocities perpetrated against fellow inmates by several of the guards. He also observed abominable behavior inflicted on inmates by each other, convincing him that the U.S. penal system takes in the bad and instead of rehabilitating, it makes them worse.

            Erik is a self-taught scholar in the field of prisoner transformation. He uses his own personal experience to revitalize the mind and spirits of men and women who have shared a similar path in life. Through his words, Erik illustrates that we are much more than the worst thing we’ve ever done, and that the potential for doing good resides within every one of us.  

            Given his vast knowledge of the Department of Corrections; Clinton Correctional Facility; David Sweat, Richard Matt and their escape; their accomplices, civilian worker Joyce Mitchell and guard Gene Palmer; plus the barbaric culture of the prison system, Erik Jensen is a consultant on an array of projects with television networks and major motion picture production companies. He is a producer for an upcoming Netflix series, based on the Clinton escape; directed by Jodie Foster, and Executive Produced by Bryan Zuriff and Brett Johnson of Ray Donovan and Mad Men.

            Erik has been interviewed more than 40 times live on over a dozen networks, including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, HLN, TWC, PIX11, WNYT13; plus numerous other news media, such as GQ, People, and Time magazines. He has appeared and played a prominent role in television specials: Nightline, Outside The Wall, The Great Prison Break, Inside Edition, Up Close with Marvin Scott, 360 Anderson Cooper, Outfront with Erin Burnett, At This Hour with John Berman and Kate Balduan, and Dateline: "The Accomplice" with Matt Lauer.

            Erik continues to share his views with the world by consulting on disturbing issues in the prison system nationwide, such as corruption, physical and mental abuse, and the long-term effects of solitary confinement. He has participated in myriad televised debates hosted by award winning journalists such as Deborah Feyerick, Randi Kaye, and Jessica Schneider.

            Erik is a regular guest speaker on numerous Dutchess County Legislator forums concerning criminal justice reform, and makes weekly guest appearances on County Legislator Joel Tyner’s radio show on WVKR 91.3 FM.

            He is also frequently invited to the "Earning Freedom" podcast. A California based show created by Michael Santos that is broadcasted in jails and prisons nationwide.

            SUNY New Paltz welcomes Mr. Jensen every semester to speak with students studying Criminology. He also volunteers at Redhook Residential Youth Facility, where he shares his story of recovery and redemption with juvenile delinquents.

            Erik is currently a contributing writer at Unheard Voices magazine. See: www.unheardvoicesmag.com


           He also volunteers with numerous criminal justice reform organizations including but not limited to: Cut50, Prisoner’s Legal Service, and Beacon Prison Action. His memoir is due out in 2017.





ABC: Nightline

            Contacted by Yu Fanting

            Interviewed by Juju Chang


            ABC Nightly News, Good Morning America, and 20/20

            Contacted and interviewed by Linzie Janis (interview used on all three shows)



            Contacted and interviewed by Jessica Schneider


NBC: Dateline: "The Accomplice" with Matt Lauer

            Contacted by Cassandra Marshall

            Interviewed by Cassandra Marshall & Matt Lauer

            NBC News

            Contacted by Laura Allenbaugh

            Interviewed by Chelsea Damberg

CNN: Anderson Cooper360

            Contacted by Kari Pricher

            Interviewed by Anderson Cooper (twice)


            Outfront with Erin Burnett

            Contacted by Kayte Steinmetz

            Interviewed by Erin Burnett (seven times)


            CNN Newsroom:

            Contacted and interviewed by Brooke Baldwin (twice)


            At This Hour with Berman and Balduan

            Contacted by Marie Malzberg

            Interviewed by John Berman and Kate Balduan (five times)


            The Great Prison Escape: CNN Special Report

            Contacted and interviewed by Randi Kaye


            Fredricka Whitfield

            Contacted by Sarah Edwards

            Interviewed by Fredricka Whitfield


            CNN Remote studio interview

            Contacted and interviewed by Carol Costello for later broadcast and syndication


            Deborah Feyerick (documentary)

            Contacted and interviewed by Deborah Feyerick


PIX-11: Special Report

            Contacted by Veronica Rosario

            Interviewed by Kori Chambers and Sukanya Krishnan


            Up Close with Marvin Scott

            Contacted by Ellyn Marks

            Interviewed by Marvin Scott


MSNBC: Special Report

            Contacted by Tara Ayers

            Interviewed by Tamron Hall


WNYT-13-NBC: Special Report

            Contacted and interviewed by Jessica Layton



            Contacted and interviewed by Michael Howard



            Contacted and interviewed by Cole Louison



            Contacted and interviewed by Jeff Truesdell


NY POST (two page spread)

            Contacted and interviewed by Jamie Schram



            (My sound bites used in an article on The Great Escape)  



            Contacted and interviewed by Gabrielle Bluestone


SIRIUS XM RADIO - Channel 121 with Margaret Hoover.

            Contacted and interviewed by Margaret Hoover


           Channel 45 (Shade45) - Sway in the Morning Show



             National Internet Radio Show


NPR – In depth interview with Brian Mann







  • A strong knowledge of the structure of the New York State Department of Corrections, the Criminal Justice System, the Court System, and Law.
  • Prison Life
  • Corruption inside Correctional Facilities
  • Escape from Prison
  • Relationships between Corrections Officers/Employee’s and Prisoners inside Prison
  • The Criminal Mind
  • Re-Entry
  • Rehabilitation
  • The Effects of Long Term Solitary Confinement
  • Prison Reform









DATELINE : http://www.nbc.com/dateline/video/dateline-september-18-2015/2905381?onid=209511#vc209511=1

ANDERSON COOPER: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=erik+jensen+anderson+cooper&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=64CAE0EB9F4FB0C0597064CAE0EB9F4FB0C05970

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BUNETT: http://cnn.it/1N6c9O4

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/29/ebo.01.html

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/24/ebo.01.html

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/26/ebo.01.html

CNN - AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BALDUAN: http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/06/24/manhunt-escapee-prison-worker-relationship-jensen-ath.cnn

CNN - AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BALDUAN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/25/us/new-york-prison-break-contraband-smuggle/

ABC NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/inmate-discusses-joyce-mitchell-david-sweat-relationship-32031236

GOOD MORNING AMERICA: https://gma.yahoo.com/ny-prison-escape-former-inmate-describes-alleged-cozy-180027020--abc-news-topstories.html#

NY DAILY NEWS: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/joyce-mitchell-inmate-relationship-running-joke-article-1.2269529

INSIDE EDITION: http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/10899-ex-inmate-flirty-joyce-mitchell-brought-killer-david-sweat-barbecued-ribs-big-chicken

NY POST: http://nypost.com/2015/06/24/shawskank-had-closet-sex-with-killer-4-times-a-week-ex-inmate/

WNYT13 IN DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA LAYTON: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3859746.shtml

PIX11 UP CLOSE WITH MARVIN SCOTT: http://pix11.com/2015/07/04/former-clinton-correctional-inmate-discusses-life-behind-prison-walls-david-sweat/

PIX11 WITH SUKANYA KRISHNAN AND KORI CHAMBERS: http://pix11.com/2015/07/04/former-clinton-correctional-inmate-discusses-life-behind-prison-walls-david-sweat/

NIGHTLINE WITH JUJU CHANG: http://abc.go.com/shows/nightline/listing/2015-07/01-nightline-070115-prison-of-passion-relationships-between-female-officers-inmates

CBS INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA SCHNEIDER: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/06/19/correction-officer-david-sweat-richard-matt/

DAILY FREEMAN: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20150625/escapees-affair-with-prison-employee-no-secret-says-local-man-who-did-time-at-dannemora

PEOPLE MAGAZINE: http://www.people.com/article/former-jailmate-relieved-capture-and-death-new-york-prison-escapees

GAWKER MAGAZINE: http://gawker.com/prisoner-says-tillie-and-the-escaped-inmate-did-it-at-l-1713591919

MSNBC THOMAS ROBERTS SHOW: http://www.msnbc.com/thomas-roberts/watch/joyce-mitchell-details-prison-break-plan-528139331771

NEWSNATION WITH TAMRON HALL: http://www.msnbc.com/newsnation/watch/former-inmate-talks-about-joyce-mitchell-525187139634