By Randall Radic / BlogCritics.org
During the past several years, America’s ever-burgeoning prison population and the devastating problem of recidivism has become a topic of much public discussion. With billions, many billions, being spent every year to incarcerate America’s 2.3 million prisoners and jail detainees, the American people have begun to call for reforms to our go-to policy of locking criminals up and throwing away the key. It has become clear that while we can try to incapacitate away our problems, that the cost is simply not worth the benefit. With this concept in many policy makers’ and reform advocates’ minds, the discussion has shifted from a punitive one to one which highlights rehabilitation, reformation, and reintegration.
Today I sit down with Christopher Zoukis, co-author with me of the Directory of Federal Prisons: PrisonLawBlog.com’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory, to discuss this latest project, why it matters, and how a simple directory of official information can help rehabilitate, reform, and reintegrate American prisoners.
To start, who are you and why should we care?
My name is Christopher Zoukis. I am the author of Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security (Sunbury Press, 2012), the Directory of Federal Prisons: PrisonLawBlog.com’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory (Middle Street Publishing, 2014), and the forthcoming College for Convicts (McFarland & Company, 2015). I’m also a regular contributing writer at Prison Legal News — the world’s premier prison law monthly — and the founder of prisoneducation.com and prisonlawblog.com.
Simply stated, you should care because I haven’t only talked the talk, I have walked the walk. I have worked hard and earned the respect of those in prisoners’ rights and prison law fields, who have accepted my work for publication. And I have done all of this from federal prison. Who better to ask how to fix America’s prison system then someone who is currently incarcerated and who studies and writes about America’s broken system of criminal justice?