Christopher Zoukis, a 27-year-old writer who is incarcerated at FCC Petersburg (Medium), is an impassioned and active advocate for prison education in this nation's prison systems, a noted legal commentator and practitioner, and a prolific writer of books, articles, and legal treatises.
Mr. Zoukis is a New York Journal of Books authorized book reviewer, a contributing writer for AND Magazine, a Blog Critics authorized contributing writer, and an EzineArticles and ArticlesBase authorized contributing writer. His book reviews, articles, essays, and poems have appeared in the Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, Midwest Book Review, Basil and Spice, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, Wopopular, Rain Taxi, EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, Education Behind Bars Newsletter, Wikipedia, and others, with content syndicated by the Associated Press, Google News, and Yahoo News.
In 2011, Mr. Zoukis' creative work won PEN American Center Prison Writing Awards for his screen play Healing Bin Laden (Drama-Second Place) and his short story Jesusland (Fiction-Honorable Mention).
In addition to his award winning writing, Mr. Zoukis is a Prison Legal News Contributing Writer, the founder of PrisonEducation.com and a former editor of the Education Behind Bars Newsletter, and has been a staff writer at the State and Federal Criminal Law Review, The Update: Federal Criminal and Immigration Law, and the Texas Criminal Law Review. He also currently contributes to the Corcoran Sun and is an authorized book reviewer for the Crown Publishing Group (part of Random House).
Currently, Mr. Zoukis is engaged in a number of larger projects. These include several novels, a guide to federal incarceration, other regular writing commitments, and his studies (both legal and academic). He is a graduate of the Blackstone Career Institute's Paralegal Diploma Program and Criminal Law and Procedure Certificate Program, along with being a graduate of the Long Ridge Writers Group and Global University's Certified Minister Certificate Program. He's currently enrolled in Blackstone Career Institute's Business & Corporate Law and Civil Litigation Certificate Programs.
Mr. Zoukis maintains strong ties with the prison, prison education, legal, and writing communities through his memberships with the American Bar Association (including their Criminal Justice Section and Section on Litigation), American Civil Liberties Union, American Correctional Association, Amnesty International, Cassell Network of Writers, Correctional Education Association, National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists, National Lawyers Guild, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (including their Appellate Defender Section), National Writers Association, National Writers Union, Paralegal Association of Northern Virginia (including their Continuing Legal Education and Public Relations Committees), PEN American Center, Pennsylvania Prison Society, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Writing and advocating for prison education isn't all Mr. Zoukis has been doing behind bars. He has taught a popular course to over 100 fellow prisoners entitled Writing and Publishing, is actively pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from California Coast University, and regularly advises fellow inmates and prison consulting groups about matters surrounding Federal Bureau of Prisons' policy and the federal regulations governing it.
Mr. Zoukis has become successful in the internal prison litigation realm and is now a sought after consultant on a number of matters (both in-prison and out of prison). In fact, he has personally successfully litigated against the Federal Bureau of Prisons concerning First Amendment, disciplinary, custody and classification, legal activities, correspondence, medical, and food service matters. Even a 5-month stay in solitary confinement during the beginning of 2012 -- for his writing activities related to the advocacy of prison education -- did not dampen his spirit or crush his resolve. While he personally assists fellow prisoners with filing administrative remedies, contesting disciplinary matters, locating viable correspondence education programs, and advocating for those who are being medically neglected, he assists even more fellow prisoners by consulting on their legal projects. His legal expertise is demonstrated by his contributions to Prison Legal News.