The study, conducted by legal commentator Christopher Zoukis, concludes that offering post-secondary and academic education to prisoners can cut $60 billion from the national budget every year – without scrapping existing programs. Zoukis has compiled his research and findings into College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons, a game-changing new book being released at a time when correctional educational programs are being clawed back or eliminated at an alarming rate.

Petersburg, VA — (ReleaseWire) — 12/08/2014 — The United States’ national deficit is a hot topic; overburdened with a massive prison budget comprising of the cost of high-tech prison construction and operations, utilities, food, medical supplies and staff costs. However, a new study conducted by legal advocate Christopher Zoukis has found that the national budget could be cut by $60 billion annually – just by providing prisoners with post-secondary education.

Everything is exposed in College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons; combining the author’s own original research with a summary of several hundred articles, conference papers, and academic studies from the past two decades. The bottom line is a compelling case for using prison education to save $60 billion annually and vastly improve public safety. It can all be achieved through reducing recidivism by a mere 10%.

“The statistics speak for themselves when it comes to recidivism rates and education. Wouldn’t we rather release into society educated and rehabilitated ex-prisoners who qualify for jobs, who pay taxes, and spend consumer dollars to bolster our economy so taxpayers don’t have to?” Zoukis asks.

The book makes its case through clear and unambiguous facts. Among them:

– There are 2.3 million incarcerated prisoners

– 700,000 are violent offenders who have a 6th grade level of education and will likely re-offend and end up back in prison

– Prisoners who attain an AA degree- 13.7% recidivism

– Prisoners who attain a bachelor’s degree-5.6% recidivism

– Prisoners who attain a master’s degree- 0% recidivism

“Clearly not all prisoners can be educated,” Zoukis adds. “But the number of prisoners who are beyond rehabilitation is relatively small; most are eager for education and can turn from crime to live a productive, law-abiding life. As a result, crime in America would decrease more and more with every generation. It costs ten times less to prevent crime than to imprison offenders. Yet, despite all logic, each year correctional educational programs are reduced or eliminated. Computer learning is not allowed. Research indicates that this generates more prisoner unrest and violence, and a greater need to fund additional security.”

College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons, published by McFarland, is available now:

To learn more about how education in American prisons is an effective tool for crime control, visit

About Christopher Zoukis
Christopher Zoukis is a leading expert in the field of correctional education. Founder of, contributing writer to The Huffington Post and Prison Legal News and internationally acknowledged expert on education for prisoners, he strives to inspire the public and law makers to expand educational offerings for prisoners. He has been incarcerated for eight years. He is held at FCI Petersburg Medium, Virginia.

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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