Federal Prison Handbook


The Federal Prison Handbook is the leading federal prison survival book. Learn everything you need to know before serving time in federal prison.


Incarceration can be cruel for prisoners and their loved ones. Learn what to expect and make the best of this time by staying safe and building a life behind bars.


The Federal Prison Handbook teaches everything you need to know to protect yourself and survive the system, compiled by a college-educated federal inmate turned corrections consultant. This insider’s view of the unknown world will guide you through the mental stresses of confinement, and keep you physically safe by explaining how to avoid the near-constant conflicts found inside federal prisons in the United States today.


The Federal Prison Handbook is the definitive guide to surviving incarceration in federal prison. This handbook teaches individuals facing incarceration, prisoners who are already inside, and their friends and families, everything they need to know to protect themselves and their rights.


The thorough information was compiled by Christopher Zoukis, who has first-hand experience with the federal prison system, as Zoukis served 12 years in prison as a young man, and is now the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a boutique federal criminal justice consultancy which assists federal criminal defense attorneys, criminal defendants, federal prisoners, and their families understand life inside the Federal Bureau of Prisons. His insider’s view of this obscure world guides readers through the mental stresses of confinement.


Zoukis also keeps readers physically safe, by explaining how to avoid the near-constant conflicts found inside federal prisons.


In detailed chapters broken down by topical area, readers discover:


Federal Prison Handbook Trade Reviews

“An ambitious guide . . . that features essential information about federal prisons.” — Kirkus Indie Review


Federal Prison Handbook is an important reference for federal prison newcomers and even longtime prisoners[.]” — Foreword Clarion Review


Federal Prison Handbook is an invaluable resource for those incarcerated or with loved ones behind bars, as well as anyone curious about what life in a federal prison is like.” — IndieReader, Nonfiction Discovery Award


“[A]n informative, authentic, and engaging handbook on surviving the federal prison system[.] . . . [A]n invaluable resource.” — Blue Ink Review

“[A]n honest and thorough snapshot of prison from every angle[.] . . . [A] comprehensive resource for people who have been, are, or will be incarcerated[.] . . . [A]n impressive effort by a uniquely talented author.” — SPR, Five Stars


Professional Reviews

Christopher Zoukis never ceases to amaze me. His talent for and generosity in sharing his knowledge and experience of the ins and outs of life in federal prison with current inmates, future inmates, and their families and even lawyers is a testament to his desire to make a positive difference. This book, written in a straightforward style, is a true resource for anyone involved with the prison system. – Alan Ellis, preeminent federal criminal defense attorney, past President of the ACLU of Central Pennsylvania, past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, and author of the renowned Federal Prison Guidebook.
This unique book is actually three books in one. First, it’s an encyclopedia of everything that a prisoner’s family needs to know about doing whatever can possibly be done to help a loved one get through the prison experience. Second, it’s a no-holds-barred, how-to guide for a first-time inmate that explains in the plainest of terms what a prisoner must do — and, just as importantly, what not to do — to survive from the first chilling trip on the inmate bus through the many long days and nights ahead in the jungle. Third, for a battle-tested lawyer like myself with 45 years of criminal litigation behind me, it is the go-to reference book for answering all those “good questions” the incarcerated client asks but which the attorney doesn’t know the answer to because they never teach you in law school what everyday life in prison is really like. Family member, first-time inmate, or experienced criminal litigator, this is a book you want in your library. – Kent A. Russell, J.D., expert attorney specializing in habeas corpus and author of the California Habeas Handbook.
The Federal Prison Handbook is an excellent resource for individuals currently incarcerated or facing incarceration in federal prison. – Brandon Sample, J.D., federal-prisoner-turned-attorney, author of The Habeas Citebook: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, and Executive Director of Prisology.
The Federal Prison Handbook, which is far more than one of the many ubiquitous prison “survival guides” available, provides a wealth of useful information and solid advice for those entering the federal prison system as well as those already serving time in BOP facilities. Writing from his own personal experiences, the author has amassed a treasure trove of penal acumen and knowledge. Rather than learn from your own mistakes — which can be dangerous or even fatal behind bars — this title is well worth purchasing and reading cover-to-cover, even if you’re not facing hard time. – Alex Friedmann, Managing Editor of Prison Legal News, Associate Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, and President of the anti-private prison Private Corrections Institute.
This is the most informative, concise prison handbook that we’ve ever seen; and we’ve seen them all. The Federal Prison Handbook is an absolute must for lawyers, paralegals, professors, counselors, librarians, prison officials, Members of Congress, and, of course, federal inmates and their families, friends, and associates (past, present, and future). We at FedCURE are overwhelmingly impressed. Hats off to Christopher and Middle Street Publishing for this valuable resource. What a fantastic way to spend your time while incarcerated. We predict hundreds of thousands of folks will benefit from the Federal Prison Handbook. – Mark A. Varca, J.D., Chairman of FedCURE.
The Federal Prison Handbook is one of my go-to guides for matters related to the federal prison system. It is an invaluable resource for attorneys like myself, prisoners, and their families. – Jeremy Gordon, J.D., federal criminal defense and appellate attorney with national practice, former state prosecutor, and General Counsel of Prisology.

I have never been inclined to recommend prison guide books, but Chris really nails this one. I’ve worked with federal inmates for over 30 years, both as a career Federal Bureau of Prisons employee and in private practice, and I can honestly say that the Federal Prison Handbook is a must-read. Chris covers all the bases and provides extensive details on the nuances of federal prison culture. – Jack Donson, nationally awarded retiree of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Director of Case Management & Programs of FedCURE, Chair of the American Bar Association’s standing sub-committee on Federal Bureau of Prisons

Additional information

Weight 1.7 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 1.2 × 9 in

Middle Street Publishing

Publication Year











Zoukis Consulting Group


Middle Street Publishing