Federal Prison Handbook:
The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Prison Handbook, by Christopher Zoukis, is the definitive guide to surviving incarceration in a federal prison. This handbook teaches individuals facing incarceration, prisoners who are already inside, and their friends and family everything they need to know to protect themselves and their rights.
The thorough information was compiled by someone who has first-hand experience with the federal prison system, as Zoukis is an advocate currently serving time at a federal prison. His insider’s view of this unknown world guides inmates through the mental stresses of confinement.
Equally as important, he keeps readers physically safe by explaining how to avoid the near-constant conflicts found inside federal prisons.
In detailed chapters broken down by topical areas, readers discover:
- What to expect on the day you’re admitted to prison, and how to greet cellmates for the first time
- What to do about sexual harassment or assault
- The best ways to avoid fights, and the options that provide the greatest protection if a fight cannot be avoided
- Medical, psychological and religious services
- How to communicate with the outside world through telephones, computers and mail.
- What you can buy in the official commissary and the underground economy
- How to avoid scams, schemes, theft, and other problems
- Comprehensive analysis of Federal Bureau of Prisons policy and regulatory guidelines
And much more!
Importantly, this text provides detailed instructions on how prisoners can protect their rights. The author is a college-educated prisoner who has fought extensively to preserve his rights and the rights of other prisoners.
Incarceration can be cruel for prisoners and their loved ones. Know what to expect and make the best of this time by staying safe, remaining safe, and building a life behind bars.
Below are promotional materials for media to download and use in articles about Christopher Zoukis and his book Federal Prison Handbook. Please email his publicist to arrange an interview or get comments.
- Federal Prison Handbook Press Release (February 2017)
- High Resolution Book Cover Image
- Media FAQs on Christopher Zoukis
“A true resource for anyone involved with the prison system.” — Alan Ellis, America’s leading federal criminal defense attorney.
“Provides a wealth of useful information and solid advice. . . [A] treasure trove of penal acumen and knowledge.” — Alex Friedmann, Managing Editor, Prison Legal News
“The Federal Prison Handbook is one of my go-to guides for matters related to the federal prison system. An invaluable resource for attorneys . . . , prisoners, and their families.” — Jeremy Gordon, federal criminal defense and appellate attorney, General Counsel of Prisology
“This is the most informative . . . prison handbook that we’ve every seen; and we’ve seen them all.” — Mark Varca, expert attorney and Chairman of FedCURE
College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons
First published in 2014, award winning College for Convicts examines a wealth of studies by researchers, correctional professionals and educators, finding an irrefutable conclusion: provide education to prisoners and they won’t return to crime.
American prisons hold about 2.3 million men and women – about 25% of the world’s prisoners. This costs American taxpayers $70 Billion per year, and up to 80% of prisoners return to jail within 3-5 years.
Recidivism rates (the number of prisoners who return to prison) are proven to drop dramatically with each additional level of education attained, and it is possible to achieve 0% recidivism. Not only would educating prisoners save taxpayers money, but it would also reduce crime rates and improve our families and community overall.
College for Convicts presents a workable solution to America’s over incarceration and recidivism problems, demonstrating that although controversial, great fiscal benefits arise when even modest sums are spent educating prisoners, instead of dedicating exponentially higher resources confining them.
As Christopher Zoukis says, “Not only does education change lives, but when used as a crime control strategy, it is the most cost-effective, proven method of reducing recidivism. The discussion concerning if prisoners deserve to receive an education behind bars should be tabled in favor of a discussion concerning how to improve public safety. The end goal of corrections is enhanced public safety, not enhanced punishment for punishment’s sake.”
“Incarcerated author Zoukis gives excellent examples to demonstrate that the US would benefit from higher education for inmates by preparing them for life after prison. The author cites statistics showing prisoners with higher education have a much lower recidivism rate, reducing prison overcrowding and saving society billions. The book ends with important appendixes on the FBP’s position, on becoming pen pals with prisoners, funding, free books, & more. A strongly suggested purchase. Highly recommended. All public & academic levels/libraries.”
— M. G. Meacham, Valdosta State University
Prison Education Guide
Prison Education Guide, by Christopher Zoukis, is the fourth in a series of books by Prison Legal News Publishing.
The most comprehensive guide to correspondence programs for prisoners available today, this exceptional book provides the reader with step-by-step instructions to find the right educational program, enroll in courses and complete classes to meet their academic goals.
Perfect for the incarcerated student who lacks Internet access or the ability to attend education classes in person, Prison Education Guide is the latest and best resource on the market for the incarcerated nontraditional student. It includes a detailed analysis of the quality, cost, and course offerings of all college correspondence programs available to prisoners.
In a time when so many academic opportunities in prisons have been eliminated, this book is an invaluable re-entry tool for prisoners who seek to further their education while incarcerated and to help them prepare for life and work following their release.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Prison Education Guide on Amazon.
Disciplinary Self Help Litigation Manual
The Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual, Second Edition, by Dan Manville, is the third in a series of books by Prison Legal News Publishing. It is designed to inform prisoners of their rights when faced with the consequences of a disciplinary hearing.
This authoritative and comprehensive work educates prisoners about their rights throughout this process and helps guide them at all stages, from administrative hearing through litigation.
This invaluable how-to guide offers step by step information for both state and federal prisoners and includes a 50 state analysis of relevant case law. It is a specialized supplement to the Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual, often referred to as the “bible” for jailhouse lawyers.
This book proves to be just as essential for prisoners. While directed at pro se prisoner litigants it is extremely useful to lawyers whose clients are subject to penal disciplinary systems. It includes an extensive case law citation index. This important new edition is undeniably a vital tool and ‘must have’ for the serious prisoner rights litigator.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Disciplinary Self Help Litigation Manual on Amazon.
Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual (4th Edition)
The Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual is considered by many to be the definitive work on prisoners’ rights. Its fourth edition was published in 2010, and contains extensively detailed presentations on the legal rights of prisoners, the legal principles behind those rights, and comprehensive advice on enforcing them, from administrative proceedings through the litigation process in the courts. Boston and Manville each have decades of prison litigation experience, and share their observations and opinions liberally within their text. Their advice is particularly helpful in their “How to Litigate” section, offering a level of guidance not seen in other such texts. For any prisoner contemplating court action to enforce their rights in the prison setting, the Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual is indispensable.
The Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual also provides valuable sample briefs and memoranda, voir dire questions for jurors in prisoner cases, and even proposed jury instructions that will help to ensure the prisoner-litigant’s case gets heard on the merits, not on extraneous interests.
Simply put, any prisoner intending to litigate his or her case in court should have a copy of the Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual at their side.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual on Amazon.
Federal Prison Guidebook (2015 Edition)
There are few individuals in the criminal litigation and prison practice realm more respected than Alan Ellis, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and former president of the ACLU of Central Pennsylvania. The same can be said for the Federal Prison Guidebook’s other authors, former Bureau of Prisons official J. Michael Henderson, and noted criminal defense attorney Todd Bussert.
Also beyond debate is the value of the Federal Prison Guidebook. It is universally accepted as the authoritative text for information on all of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ facilities. From Bureau employees to defense attorneys to federal judges to prisoners, the Federal Prison Guidebook is the source for detailed information on location, security information, physical plant, programs available, and even directions to all 182 such federal institutions and private contract facilities. It is updated biannually.
The Federal Prison Guidebook also contains authoritative explanations on key Bureau policies and regulations, i.e., medical treatment protocols, classification, and the like. The Federal Prison Guidebook is simply unrivaled as a source for essential information on the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Federal Prison Guidebook on Amazon.
Georgetown Law Journal: 44th Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, 2015
Virtually every prison law library in America has on its shelves at least one copy of “the Georgetown.” And for good reason: the text is bedrock one for incarcerated litigants seeking to challenge their criminal conviction or sentence.
The Georgetown Law Journal is published annually by the Georgetown University Law Center. Usually in excess of 1,000 pages, this text provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal process, from arrest to trial to sentencing to appeal and beyond. While other texts provide a description of the criminal process, the Georgetown Law Journal is unique in its comprehensive case citations. In some instances, a case cite for every sentence of text — for and against the principle — is listed for each of the federal courts of appeals.
Quite simply, there is no better resource for the pro se prisoner who seeks to understand, and challenge, his or her conviction or sentence. For the last four decades, the Georgetown Law Journal has been the go-to text for successful prisoner-litigants, and its well-organized, logical format has made it a staple for many lawyers and judges, too; this year’s preface is by Eric H. Holder, Attorney General of the United States.
A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual (9th Edition)
First published in 1978, A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, or “the JLM” as many call it, has been a staple for law libraries in prisons across America for decades. It is a massive, comprehensive text, long regarded as a top quality work on prisoner litigation. Justice Thurgood Marshall called it “an important and impressive work” that “should be read by everyone involved in, or concerned about, prisoners’ rights.”
The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual is particularly useful to the prisoner just beginning his or her journey through the post-conviction and prison litigation systems. It contains invaluable advice on conducting legal research, an overview of legal rights, instruction on correctly reading cases and legal documents, and obtaining Freedom of Information Act materials. The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual has dedicated sections on prison medical issues, religious freedom, and other rights, along with chapters on special issues for LGBT prisoners, those with mental illnesses, and other special needs groups.
The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual offers a wealth of information particular to New York State prisoners, on administrative remedies and parole issues. Notably, the Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual offers model forms and motions that provide superb templates for the prisoner-litigant.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual on Amazon.
Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs in the U.S. and Canada (3rd Edition)
The updated third edition of the Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook provides more than 160 program listings for incarcerated students to review when deciding which correspondence program to enroll in. Each listing contains information on the cost, course offerings, contact information, and quality of courses offered.
The Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook includes listings for undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States and Canada. It also provides program listings for high schools and vocational studies.
Dr. Taylor’s venerable Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook offers the value of his 25 years of experience as an incarcerated student, prison education advocate, and author. It offers useful commentary and successful strategies for pursuing education from behind the wall. Presented in a large format and easy-to-use package, the Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook is a great asset for any incarcerated student and for every prison library.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook on Amazon.
Prison Grievances: When to Write, How to Write
Prison Grievances is part graphic novel, part how-to guide on prison grievances and litigation. Written with a focus on navigating the administrative remedy process used in the Texas Department of Corrections, Prison Grievances is a terrific introduction to the grievance process for any prisoner whose civil rights are imperiled by official action.
Part One of Prison Grievances is a punchy tale of a volunteer lawyer teaching a group of prisoners about filing properly prepared grievances and how those grievances make their way through the prison and judicial systems. Prison Grievances illuminates the subject matter with terrific comic-book/graphic novel illustrations that bring the story to life. It is an excellent primer to grievances for the average prisoner with no legal background.
Part Two, the Workbook Section, offers a comprehensive list of checklists on various subjects of prisoner concern, to assist in organizing claims of excessive force, life endangerment, religious discrimination, medical issues, and a host of other matters that implicate a prisoner’s health and safety and quality of life.
Called “an important tool for prisoners and their families” by the Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas, Prison Grievances provides a great deal of important information in an easy-to-understand form.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of Prison Grievances on Amazon.
The Habeas Citebook: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
The Habeas Citebook: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel is a neatly-organized resource designed to assist litigants in advancing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, the most common claim presented in post-conviction, habeas corpus proceedings. Citing cases from the United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts, both published and unpublished, The Habeas Citebook breaks down ineffective assistance of counsel cases into 40 categories. From cases describing lawyers failing to investigate a defense, to conflicts of interests and misadvise on appeal, The Habeas Citebook is an essential resource for those examining former counsel’s performance, as well as for the formulation of well-supported claims of ineffective assistance.
The Habeas Citebook also contains extensive resource information for the prisoner putting together a habeas petition or other collateral attack, including various rules and procedural codes in their entirety, sample briefs, and informed advice on procedural matters.
As one would expect from a text published by Prison Legal News, The Habeas Citebook is a quality, well-researched resource for both prisoners and attorneys alike.
Read reviews or purchase your copy of The Habeas Citebook on Amazon.