By Frank Carlile

I’m not the smartest person in this prison, but I would like to be. I’ve met some very intelligent people here, and try to learn from each of them.

When I first transferred here, I signed up for every class I could. By the time I left the transfer unit, I was in a class every night of the week. I read books from the library and through the mail. My goal was to obtain an education.  Photo courtesy

Money was short, but I wrote to the Education Department and talked with my Higher Power. Someone listened, and soon I was accepted into the Welding program. After completing this program, I followed it up with Auto Body Repair and then Heating and Air Conditioning (which my family paid for).

Not long after that, I lost an argument with a guard and ended up in segregation. Even though I’m stuck in this tiny cell, I’m still sticking to my goals. I’m back writing the Education Department and reading everything I can – law, real estate, electricity, and psychology. I hope to complete at least one more vocational class and take some academic college courses before my release.

Moral of the story: Never give up on your education regardless of where you happen to be or how you managed to get there.

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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