Federal Prison Handbook

The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Non-Fiction - General
521 Pages
Reviewed on 02/24/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christopher Zoukis, an award winning incarcerated writer, is the author of Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (Prison Legal News Publishing, 2016), and College for Convict (McFarland & Co., 2014). He regularly contributes to The Huffington Post, Prison Legal News, and New York Daily News, along with a number of other print and digital media outlets.

In December 2016 he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Business Administration and Legal Studies) from Adams State University. He is currently attending ASU's MBA program.

Mr. Zoukis regularly advises attorneys, prison consultants, and fellow prisoners about legal issues and federal regulations governing Federal Bureau of Prisons operations. In 2016, his Prison Law Blog was named a Top 100 Blawg by the American Bar Association. Upon release he plans to attend law school and become a federal criminal defense attorney.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Geree McDermott for Readers' Favorite

Convicted of a federal crime and heading to Federal Prison is a horrific prospect, made even more so when the newly convicted person doesn’t know what to expect, but with the aid of Federal Prison Handbook - The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Christopher Zoukis, the prisoner can be prepared. Even those with prior experience in federal prison will find Mr. Zoukis’s informative handbook invaluable. Federal Prison Handbook details how inmates can navigate the complexity of federal prison, and outlines the basic rules, procedures, and expectations as well as offering sage advice on everything from legal procedures to how to get a college education, and includes a thorough list of resources for the inmate to utilize. In the extensively researched, well organized, and well written Federal Prison Handbook, Mr. Zoukis also helps family members understand how the federal prison system works and what they need to do to avoid problems within the system.

I am impressed by Christopher Zoukis’s Federal Prison Handbook as well as with the author himself. Christopher Zoukis, currently incarcerated, took advantage of his time in prison to earn a Bachelor degree, and is working toward his MBA. He not only provides support and direction to inmates, but also teaches writing and publishing, as well as writes and publishes books and articles. His goal upon release is to attend law school and become a criminal defense attorney. I have no doubt he will achieve his ambitions. I give Christopher Zoukis’s Federal Prison Handbook - The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons the highest rating.

Ray Simmons

When I saw Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Chris Zoukis, my first thought was that it might be useful to have this book on my shelf because I don’t know anything about federal prisons, other than the general knowledge and impressions gleaned over the years from books and movies. I guessed that a lot of what I thought I knew might be wrong or exaggerated so I decided to read Chris Zoukis’s book. I’m very glad I did. If I ever write about prisons or, God forbid, find myself or a loved one incarcerated, I know where to turn for information about navigating and surviving the system. This book is exactly what it claims in the subtitle, it is the definitive guide to surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and since America has such a large number of people incarcerated, this book will be useful, even necessary, for a lot of people.

Federal Prison Handbook is straightforward and easy to read. Chris Zoukis wrote this book to help anyone who finds themselves with a need to navigate the system, or even survive it. It covers everything and is very well written. There are aspects of prison life covered in this book that I never even thought about. There are organizations and departments listed and explained that I didn't know existed. Federal Prison Handbook has a wealth of information about a subject that most of us don’t even want to talk about, but some of us might need to learn at some point, in order to help someone we care about, or even ourselves. I read it to be informed about the prison system. I keep it because it taught me more than I imagined.

Vernita Naylor

Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Christopher Zoukis is a comprehensive, detailed guide on the ins and outs of the prison system. Author Christopher Zoukis provides first-hand accounts about the aspects of navigating and understanding the federal prison system. Christopher Zoukis is an expert on this issue because, as a former prisoner, he has been able to rehabilitate himself by not only becoming college educated, but is also a contributing writer, advocate and consultant on prison rights and the system. Federal Prison Handbook is ideal for anyone - from new inmates, inmates that have been in the prison system for a while, family members of an inmate, and those working within the legal system to those merely having an interest in the prison industry.

Federal Prison Handbook does not disappoint and is such an eye opener. I truly enjoyed reading this material. I knew some things about the prison system, but in reading Federal Prison Handbook I was blown away because there is such a rich flow of material to not only read but to learn from. The prison system, particularly in the private industry, has been such a real moneymaker in today’s economy for over a few decades. Some parts of the system have been privatized and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under various portfolios from Corrections Corporate America (CCA), now known as CoreCivic, to GEO Group. Whatever your interest is in the judicial, legal, prison or the evolution of Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Federal Prison Handbook is a must-have for your book collection. Kudos to Christopher Zoukis for such a transparent yet informative piece of work.

Arya Fomonyuy

Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Christopher Zoukis is a pioneering work that will tell readers just what they need in order to survive in a federal prison. This is the kind of book that anyone facing incarceration needs to read, and it will also inform readers and families who have loved ones in prison. The author offers readers information that will give them the tools they need to protect their rights, how to prepare for admissions, how to stay physically safe, and the kind of services to expect. Unlike what readers will find in fiction books, this one is a handbook for prisoners, written by someone who has been behind bars. In fact, the author shares invaluable information that will enable readers to get the right protection, land the best jobs in prison, and transform their prison experience into a meaningful one.

Christopher Zoukis’ writing has the authority of one who speaks from inside experience and it will come across as a great gift to anyone facing jail time. It is highly informative and it is interesting to see how the author weaves his personal experience into the information. The book is well-edited and the prose is neat. It is professional and accessible to ordinary readers. Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons offers readers an inside view of what federal prisons look like. This is the kind of book that tells anyone the kind of information they need if they want to transform their prison experience into a positive one. I found it educative, interesting, and entertaining.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Let’s get one thing straight. Federal Prison Handbook by Christopher Zoukis is not some hook to attract the voyeuristic or curious toward some lengthy, grisly diatribe about the hardships of prison life. This is a highly professional, profoundly detailed, technical and comprehensive compendium of facts, laws, policies, and guidelines. But it is also a treasure trove of personal observations, anecdotal witnessing, cautionary warnings and everyday tips on how best to navigate the system, should that become necessary in your life. This means the handbook is precisely as advertised – a handbook. As such, the audience it generates is meant to be massively wide and inclusive, and the book should be the first requirement for any discussion of prison reform, opinion sharing, argument, discussion, or just plain presentations of factual truth. As a curious bystander myself, I found it absolutely fascinating and educational. And yes, even opinion-changing. Not to mention, there actually is one grisly diatribe important to hear about: the SHU – Special Housing Unit – i.e. Solitary Confinement.

Federal Prison Handbook provides a clear-headed look at a highly controversial institution, one that evokes wide-ranging fear among the general populace, or unfounded rage toward either the inmates or the institution itself. Christopher Zoukis is quick to disparage such emotional extremes by offering a sober and realistic look inside. The effect is to reassure the potential future resident that although prison life is tough, like the rest of life, its challenges can be met with minimum resistance, and the term of incarceration is – to put it simply – doable. On the other hand, one’s uninformed opinions may be way off the mark, and you might be surprised at the complexity and varieties of prison experience to be endured based upon one’s attitude, the severity of his crime, and the level of security to which he has been sentenced. I do know this: if I were to be incarcerated, I would want this book in my possession.