Directory of Federal Prisons

The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions

Non-Fiction - Self Help
764 Pages
Reviewed on 04/12/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy specializing in federal prison preparation, resolution of in-prison matters, and reentry success.

Mr. Zoukis is the author of the Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (Prison Legal News Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts (McFarland is & Co., 2014).

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Well-researched and professionally written, Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions by Christopher Zoukis is an eye-opener, a book that presents the reality in the different prisons, both state-owned and private, across the country. In this book, the author doesn’t limit himself to describing what prisons look like to the common observer. He takes the time to delve into the details of prison life, exploring the situation of prisoners, how different prisons are run, and the need-to-know information that should be at the disposal of everyone. Readers are going to find out shocking details and information that can be disturbing, understand the internal politics in each prison, and learn about the programs available to inmates.

The author has taken enough time to interview inmates and to get inside knowledge of their experiences and skillfully communicates very crucial and sensitive information about the prisons in this book. This is not a book that offers the basic information that readers can find in any directory but one that looks for that which is hidden and shadowy. And who can best describe life behind bars than those who actually live there. Encounter some of the inmates and share their stories, discover key events in most of the prisons and know who actually runs which wing of the prison and what unspoken rules govern each prison. Christopher Zoukis’ book is a great companion for anyone with a loved one facing jail time or anyone who might eventually end up in prison. It provides the information that readers should know and in a way that is compelling. Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions is the one reference book not to miss for anyone who wants to know the inside workings of prison life.

Vernita Naylor

The prison system is a multi-billion dollar industry that benefits both private sectors and the government. There are so many layers that encompass the system that in order to improve it you must first understand it. This is why I highly recommend Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions by Christopher Zoukis because the reader will learn the nuances of the system - from the different security levels, to the type of attire that is restricted for visitors to wear, to the admissions and orientation process of the prisoners once they are entered into the system. This guide not only provides a comprehensive resource but it also provides information that you probably had considered but never knew where to obtain an answer to. Well, this guide offers answers and much more. Also, the reader will get a wealth of information about each prison system from the mailing address and background about the prison to what the latest news report is about that prison and so much more.

The skill of Christopher Zoukis is that he provides an inside-out approach to the system. He was able to rehabilitate himself by educating himself and others about the prison system and through that process created this comprehensive resource guide for the reader. The author, over time, has a body of work from blogs and articles to other resources about the lives of others in the system, how the system works and the ways to improve the system that may interest you as well. The author has taken the time and broken up the information into chapters and appendices that are easy to explore, digest, and understand. Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions is highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions is a work of non-fiction in the reference and investigative sub-genres, and was penned by author Christopher Zoukis. The volume includes a fully comprehensive guide to all of the Federal Prison facilities in the United States of America, but it goes further than the standard information on population and security level that is usually provided. This truly unique guide relies on interviews and surveys to give much more in-depth social profiles of these institutions, notable incidents that have happened there and a more realistic look at what it is like to live on the inside in such places.

Author Christopher Zoukis has crafted an important guidebook for a lesser-revealed area of life within the federal prison system. For those who face the possibility of heading to federal prison, whatever their crime, there will no doubt be fears and concerns, and this excellent guide allows its users to navigate the system and remain safe whilst making informed decisions. Prisoners already in situ would find the guide useful when offered the option of transfer, and it is clear that a lot of accurate investigative work has gone into the creation of this extensive and highly helpful volume to facilitate that. Overall, Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions is an excellent read for the target audience that truly needs its guide, and provides a handy and well-organized reference for anyone seeking such information.

Ruffina Oserio

Don’t be fooled by the straightforward title of this new and comprehensive guide to federal prisons: Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institution” by Christopher Zoukis. It is more than a directory where readers get general ideas of what the prisons look like, their locations, level of security, number of inmates, etc. This book is a guide that takes readers on a journey across the different federal prisons in the country and that documents the culture, politics, security, lifestyle, and the soul of each prison. The reader immediately gets the impression that the author sets out to uncover what doesn’t appear at first glance and what isn’t openly available to the general public. The author examines the populations and speaks about the general atmosphere within prison grounds, looking into things like gangs, sex, violence, and politics.

In this book, the author presents both private and government-owned prisons and shares important information such as the educational, recreational, and psychological programs available to inmates. Readers will learn about notable incidents recorded in each prison, get first-hand feedback from inmates who share their experiences and talk about sensitive things. The author writes about a wide range of issues and the reader is left in no doubt that Christopher Zoukis has done his homework. It is well-researched and written in a style that is easy to understand and enjoyable. This book lifts the veil and shows readers what to expect should they find themselves in any of these prisons. This book is a powerful testament that not only criminals are locked in prisons. Behind the walls of the prisons are dark secrets, shady relationships, corrupt systems, and unusual unspoken rules that must be followed. Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions is not only informative, but it is also an enjoyable and eye-opening read that captures the complexities of prison experience and what it takes to survive.

Lesley Jones

Unlike other guidebooks on the prison system in the US, Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis delves much deeper into the practices of each facility. This comprehensive directory covers every aspect of each prison from the different therapies and educational programs available, to the level of violence and the behavior towards vulnerable prisoners. There is also personal commentary from the prisoners themselves on what they feel are the positives and negatives of specific prisons. Everything you would need to know about each prison is detailed. What can be expected as you enter the exercise yard? Will your loved ones have the opportunity to be rehabilitated or receive vocational training? Have there been previous complaints against the prison staff and how much contact can the prisoners expect with their families? This is a must-have guide for anyone interested in the prison system, whether they are a family member, attorney or a person resident in the locality of a prison.

The amount of information in Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis is quite outstanding. This is what sets this guidebook apart from others on the subject. I was amazed by the differences between each facility. The attitudes of each prison towards rehabilitation and vocational training were so diverse and varied. There were many rehabilitation programs such as anger management, victim impact and improvement of self-image that I imagine will have a serious positive impact on prisoners. I was left wondering why some facilities deal with psychological issues and vocational training so well while others did not. It was also a shocking insight into how the guards in some facilities have been found guilty of bribery and violence towards prisoners while staff at other prisons are so supportive. Another aspect of the book that astounded me was how LGBT people were classed in the same group as sex offenders and informants. There were also some amusing and fascinating facts throughout the guide too. The one that stands out for me was regarding Joshua Hanson who escaped from prison to collect fresh food and contraband and then returned to prison voluntarily. An excellent and interesting book that will open your eyes to the US prison system.