College for Convicts

The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons


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SKU: 9780786495337 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained. Presenting a workable solution to America’s mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Christopher Zoukis is the founder of, and a contributing writer to The Huffington Post and Prison Legal News.  Zoukis advocates for the public and lawmakers to expand educational offerings for prisoners. He is incarcerated at FCI Petersburg Medium, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher Zoukis

Foreword by Alex Friedmann
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9533-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1799-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Foreword by Alex Friedmann  1
Introduction  3
1. Why Do We Care?  7
2. A Historical Perspective on Prison Education  39
3. Prison Education Today: A Reality Check  46
4. Barriers to Betterment: Roadblocks in the Cell Block  66
5. Oases in the Desert  82
6. Options for Distance Learning  134
7. Too Late, Too Old?  140
8. No Guts, No Gain  151
9. What the World Knows  165
10. Thinking Inside the Box to Make It Happen  182
I. Federal Bureau of Prisons Program Statements  201
II. Prisoner Publications and Pen-pal Clubs  215
III. Funding for Correctional Education  233
IV. Free and Discounted Books for Prisoners  235
V. Federal Financial Aid for Incarcerated Individuals FAQ  246
VI. Numbers Tell a Story  248
VII. Prison Education in Europe  250
VIII. Reentry Facts  252
Chapter Notes  255
Bibliography  275
Index  285

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Zoukis gives excellent examples to demonstrate that the U.S. would benefit from higher education for inmates in prison. A strongly suggested purchase. Highly recommended”—Choice
  • “Important, highly sensible, and pragmatic new book”—The Huffington Post