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Petersburg, Virginia — A new book by prison rights advocate Christopher Zoukis is making headlines as a growing number of North Americans – including leading U.S. presidential election candidates and governors of several states – are acknowledging education is the only way to fix the broken penal system.
Released March 1, Prison Education Guide (Prison Legal News Publishing, 2016) provides concrete evidence that substantive change is urgently needed to halt the school-to-prison pipeline and reduce rampant recidivism rates across the United States. Tailored to prisoners who have no Internet access or the ability to attend class in person, the guide includes a detailed analysis of the quality, cost, and course offerings of more than 160 college correspondence programs available to prisoners.
“A college degree today is yesterday’s high school diploma,” says Zoukis, an outspoken prison education activist housed at FCI Petersburg (medium) in Virginia. “If prisoners aren’t provided with the tools they need to succeed, they are sure to fail after they are released because they have no money, have broken family ties, nowhere to live or no way to make a living.”
“We continue to put people in jail without thinking about what happens when it’s time for them to leave. And that is exactly what contributes to today’s sky-high recidivism rates.”
A comprehensive guide to correspondence programs for prisoners, Prison Education Guide is a followup to his award-winning 2014 College for Convicts, which examines numerous studies by researchers, correctional professionals and educators that prove education definitively reduces recidivism.
Zoukis notes it costs $1,400-$3,200 per year to provide a college education to an American prisoner, whereas it costs an average of $32,000 a year to incarcerate that same prisoner. In recent months, politicians including U.S. President Barack Obama, presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well as New York Gov. Gary Cuomo, have all spoken out about the steep costs of incarceration versus education and how improved access to education for inmates is needed to reduce recidivism.
About Christopher Zoukis
Christopher Zoukis is an outspoken prison rights and correctional education advocate who is incarcerated at FCI Petersburg in Virginia. He is an award-winning writer whose work has been published widely in major publications such as Huffington Post, Prison Legal News and various websites and blogs. More information is available at prisoneducation.com (This website) and christopherzoukis.com
Christopher Zoukis is pleased to speak with media by telephone about topics related to prison education and justice reform.
For more information or to book an interview, email [email protected]neducation.com or send a request in writing to:
Federal Correctional Institution
Petersburg P.O. Box 1000, #22132-058
Petersburg, VA 23804
Published Mar 8, 2016 | Last Updated Oct 24, 2021 at 9:38 am