College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons

College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons

by Christopher Zoukis


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786495337
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword 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

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