By Christopher Zoukis

It is with great pride that I address the Prison Law Blog readership today concerning updates on several exciting fronts.  The last several weeks have been a whirlwind for us at the Prison Law Blog.  It’s often said that someone comes to success seemingly overnight.  Yet those in the know understand that this is not the case; instead, success is a result of a cumulative and concerted effort over time.  Well, it finally appears as if the hard work on the part of the Prison Law Blog staff has finally paid off.  Today I’d like to share with you several pieces of exciting news which promises to turn the Prison Law Blog into the powerhouse that we all know it can and should be.

McFarland and Company Book Deal

Image courtesy McFarland.com

Perhaps the most exciting news concerns my text, College for Convicts: The Case for a Safer, More Prosperous Country.  After several months of searching and submitting the College for Convicts manuscript to a number of publishers, we recently entered into contract negotiations with McFarland and Company, a very large nonfiction publisher based in North Carolina.  McFarland is a supporter of prison education and, thus, has expressed an interest in the text.  After several rounds of discussions, they’ve agreed to publish College for Convicts.  While the deal has not yet been inked, we anticipate this to occur within the next two weeks.  This will result in the cause of prison education being spread throughout academia and into public policy circles.  College for Convicts will become the de facto leading text concerning the topic of educating prisoners and should easily find a home in libraries across the world with the expert assistance of McFarland and Company.

Salkind Literary Agency

The next piece of thrilling news comes from the Salkind Literary Agency.  After months of submissions and discussions, Greg Aunapu, an agent at the Salkind Literary Agency, has agreed to represent all of my future nonfiction work.  These works include books on prison survival, prison fitness (in conjunction with fellow federal prisoner and former U.S. Field Hockey national team goaltender Todd Broxmeyer), and even a text which profiles every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons (of which we are already in discussions with North Law Publishing concerning).  With the backing of Greg and the Salkind Literary Agency, my future nonfiction projects should find homes at much larger publishing houses, thus expanding the Prison Law Blog’s advocacy network and reach.

Greg Aunapu / Photo courtesy gregaunapu.com 

Middle Street Publishing e-Book Publication

I’m proud to announce Middle Street Publishing’s first book.  MSP will be publishing the Directory of Federal Prisons: PrisonLawBlog.com’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic come January and will be available wherever e-books are sold for $9.95.  This e-book provides basic character profile information and the contact data for every federal prison and private contract prison which houses federal prison inmates.  The character profile information includes the gender of the prisoners, security level, federal judicial district, inmate population, and if there is an adjacent satellite prison camp.  The contact data includes both the official contact information (i.e., address, phone number, fax number, and email address) and the inmate correspondence address.  To assist in promoting the e-book, Middle Street Publishing has contracted with Pump Up Your Book to provide online exposure through an extensive blog tour and book reviewer outreach.  So, you should be seeing a healthy amount of online buzz from February through May of 2014.

Prison Law Blog e-Book Singles

As I wrote about several months ago, the Prison Law Blog has started the process of producing e-book singles: shorter e-books about prison law and prison litigation topics.  The plan is to produce researched legal writings on topics which require more than an article’s worth of information, but don’t quite warrant an entire book.  The first e-book is entitled The Aftermath of Alleyne: Applying Jury Findings to Mandatory Minimum Sentences and should be published either in late January or early February.  It, too, will be available wherever e-books are sold and will retail for $2.99 due to the shorter nature of the product (each of these e-books will consist of around 10,000 words of editorial content, plus appendices containing judicial opinions and other supporting documents).  Again, Middle Street Publishing has contracted with Pump Up Your Book to promote this e-book starting in June and continue through the end of August.

Prisoner Outreach

As previously mentioned on the Prison Law Blog, Middle Street Publishing has launched a free Prison Law & Prison Education News Update Service which is specifically for federal prisoners.  Three times a week, the most important posts at PrisonLawBlog.com and PrisonEducation.com are syndicated to our Corrlinks.com/TRULINCS subscriber network, which currently consists of over 350 prisoners.  This is a free service and has proven to be very popular amongst incarcerated subscribers.  Come January, our first advertisement will run in Prison Legal News, the premier prison publication.  We anticipate our subscriber numbers to significantly increase following this ad placement.  All prisoners have to do is add news@prisonlawblog.com to their contacts list in order to receive these free updates.  They can use the following mailing address:

Prison Law News Update Service

Editor

3900 Pelandale Ave.

Box 319

Modesto, CA  95356

A Bright Future for the Prison Law Blog

As you can see, things are really heating up for us at the Prison Law Blog.  We’re making a very strong push into the e-book market with content not being produced by others in the field of prisoners’ rights and we’re doing so to help expand our advocacy and digital footprint.  Simply stated, we are trying to make a difference by leveraging new technologies to effect meaningful change.  This is something I believe we can all get behind and support.

As always, I welcome your comments, input, and ideas.  We at the Prison Law Blog are always looking to collaborate with other likeminded individuals and organizations who strive for meaningful change within the criminal justice and social justice fields.  If you have an idea — even the mere hint of an idea — we’re more than open to hearing what you have to say.

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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