By Christopher Zoukis

While it is still early yet, I have an announcement to make concerning my book Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security.  As you know, Sunbury Press published this title in early 2012 to rave reviews from the prison presses.  Since its publication, we’ve been approached by several publishers, who are enthusiastic to give this project new life and enhanced exposure; two of which are McFarland and Company and Prisology.  I’d like to touch upon both today.

As you know from previous posts, I decided to divide Education Behind Bars into two books: one for academics and one for prisoners.  This way both texts could be completely revised and updated, then more effectively marketed to their target markets.  Well, the revisions are now complete on both books and publishing contracts have been signed for both, too.

McFarland and Company picked up the academic book and are publishing it under the title College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons.  And Prisology has picked up the prisoner correspondence guide, which is tentatively titled College for the Incarcerated.  Both publishers seem enthusiastic about the projects.

If you’re interested in the academic version (for the general public and law makers), please head over to McFarland and Company’s sales page for College for Convicts, where you can pre-order your copy today.  This book will be out either late this year or early next year.

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By Christopher Zoukis

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is facing a significant challenge to the relative secrecy in which it is used to operating.

Prisology, a nonprofit criminal justice reform organization, has announced that it has filed suit against the BOP, alleging that the agency has “flagrantly disregarded” important aspects of the federal government’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) through decades of noncompliance with laws that require it to post online substantial information about its day-to-day decision-making.

The suit, Prisology v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, was filed in United States District Court in Washington, DC.

Jeremy Gordon, General Counsel for Prisology, says that the litigation is groundbreaking.  The BOP’s failure to comply with the 1996 amendments requiring online posting of data under the FOIA has thus far escaped judicial scrutiny.  “Effective oversight of federal agencies is impossible where lawmakers and the public do not have information about agency operations and practices.  At present, the BOP largely functions in a shroud of secrecy,” Gordon said.

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By Christopher Zoukis 

On June 14, 2014, the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, in conjunction with the national criminal justice reform organization Prisology, announced the latest installment in their Commitment to Change College Scholarship.  This scholarship covers the cost of tuition and books for one federal prisoner to take one course at the regionally accredited Adams State University, a university highly regarded by most incarcerated students for their prisoner-friendly correspondence policies and recommended in both Education Behind Bars(Sunbury Press, 2012) and the Prisoners Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs in the U.S. and Canada (Prison Legal News, 2009).

This scholarship is offered four times a year to one federal prisoner who submits either an essay or a piece of artwork for judging.  There is no entry fee to participate.  Due to Prisology’s significant reform efforts during the first quarter of 2014 — which consisted of testifying before Congress concerning the two-point sentencing reduction for federal drug offenders and its potential retroactivity, and other non-Congressional outreach concerning clemency petitions and various federal sentencing legislation and initiatives — this quarter’s scholarship will be awarded to not one, but two federal prisoners: the first and second place winners of the current contest.

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By Christopher Zoukis Looking for a worthy cause to support?  Our good friends at Prisology have launched a creative campaign to ensure that the U.S. Sentencing Commission makes any revisions to the federal sentencing guidelines retroactive, thus helping not only current and future criminal defendants, but current federal prisoners, too. This project concerns T-shirts and…

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