Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Directory of Federal Prisons Blog Tour: by Christopher Zoukis & Dr. Randall Radic (Presented by Pump Up Your Book Tours)



The DIRECTORY OF FEDERAL PRISONS: PrisonLawBlog.com's Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic is a comprehensive, yet succinct, guide to the contact information and basic character profile information of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, plus all private prisons under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house federal inmates.

It is an essential guide for everyone who knows anyone incarcerated within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and sets the standard for basic character profiles and contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This electronic guidebook enables attorneys, family members and friends of federal prisoners, journalists, government officials, prison volunteers, and members of the general public to quickly locate the contact information and inmate correspondence address of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons and every private prison which houses federal inmates.

I'd like to welcome Christopher Zoukis  to the blog today to discuss his book, Directory of Federal Prisons.


Why Educating America's Incarcerated Class is Smart on Crime
By Christopher Zoukis

When many think of prisoners they think of those who have violated the social contract, of those who have victimized their communities. They think of those who deserve whatever they have coming to them, and that any form or amount of punishment they receive is just. There is some validity to these points. But there is also a fatal flaw in this logic.


The Fatal Flaw: Punishment, but no Reformation

When we as Americans think of punishing prisoners, we think of just consequences and just desserts. We think of an action occurring and a reaction being required. But we often don't sit down and realize that prisoners will one day be released from custody. As such, we think of harming those who have harmed us, but not of welcoming them back upon the fulfillment of their punishment (i.e., their sentence). And this is the fatal flaw: we punish those deserving of punishment, but fail to prepare them for life after prison (the point at which their punishment has been fulfilled). We fail to provide them with the tools required to put crime behind them. This is where prison education comes in.


Correctional Education: What is it?

Correctional education is the technical term for education provided to prison inmates. This education can consist of basic literacy (reading, writing, mathematics, etc.), high school equivalency (GED classes), adult continuing education (either technical/career skills or life skills aimed at adult learners), vocational training, or even college education. By far the most prevalent, high school equivalency courses are provided to any prisoner who has not earned a true high school diploma. This is important because research shows that most prisoners possess merely a 6th grade formal education, and many are plainly illiterate.


These courses are often provided inside an education department within the prison itself. The teachers are prisonstaffers who hold teaching certificates, but more often than not, they merely supervise the more educated prisonerswho actually teach the classes. While these prisoners are often called "inmate tutors," their job is often to plan lessons, teach the classes, and administer sample tests, which help to gauge when the incarcerated student should sit for the true GED examinations or end-of-course tests.


Why Should We Want to Educate Prisoners?

The simple truth of the matter is that correctional education is the single most cost-effective, proven method of reducing recidivism (the act of a person going to prison, serving their time, being released, and returning to crime). The reason for this is because education helps the traditionally disadvantaged prison population compete in the workforce. And this is important because most former prisoners who return to crime do so because of economic reasons. They sell drugs or rob banks or engage in identity theft because they need money. As such, finding ways to make them employable is of paramount importance.

Let's face it, a high school diploma is the cornerstone of an employable worker. Not many employers are interested in hiring workers without one. But, true high school diplomas are not feasible in the prison context (they simply take to long to earn for learners who've had a poor track record in formal education). As such, GED classes are what are made available to incarcerated students. While not the best option, this is a tremendous start for those who, on average, have a 6th grade formal education.

The simple truth is that with each new level of education attained, the recidivism rate is slashed. While this fact is not a feel-good one, it is crime reduction and cost savings in practice. It can only take a year or two for most incarcerated students to earn a GED. The cost of this is negligible compared to additional years of reincarceration. And the value of reduced crime is incalculable.


Dividing Retribution from Reformation

The starting point for many Americans when discussing prisoners is to become angry; angry about the seemingly undeserved privileges being offered to those who break the law. Americans become angry when they find out that prisoners sometimes live in air conditioned housing units. This is seen as a privilege, even though prisoners have been known to die from heat stroke in those housing units which lack AC, and the reason for the climate control is to deny prisoners access to windows that open. Americans become angry when they find out that prisoners sometimes have access to cable television, even though this monotonous form of entertainment is a valuable correctional tool, and has been shown to drastically reduce prison violence by occupying prisoners who would otherwise find trouble. But today we're not advocating for televisions or air conditioning. We're advocating education for the incarcerated.

It's time that the American people stop thinking of education as a privilege, but as a tool. Education is a tool which helps prisoners learn to think, compete in the workforce upon release from prison, and not return to a life of crime. Education for the incarcerated will reduce victimization, burden on social services, and the current prison overpopulation crisis. Education will change lives by changing minds and the ways former prisoners live their lives.

But if this isn't enough, don't support prison education because it helps those incarcerated. Support prison education because it is in our best interest. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 95 to 97 percent of prisoners will one day be released from custody. These are our future neighbors. The question shouldn't be, "Do prisoners deserve an education?" No. The question is, "Would you prefer your future neighbor be educated, employed, and a law abiding citizen who is not engaged in a criminal lifestyle, or would you prefer for your future neighbor to merely be waiting for their probation or supervised release officer to violate them and return them to prison?" These are the choices. I, for one, chose education, not re-incarceration.


About the Book:
Title: Directory of Federal Prisons
Author: Christopher Zoukis & Dr. Randall Radic
Publisher: Middle Street Publishing
Pages: 145
Language: English
Genre: Reference/Law
Format: Kindle

Excerpt:

A day doesn't go by that we don’t receive email at www.PrisonLawBlog.com or at www.PrisonEducation.com from a friend, family member, or from an attorney representing a federal prisoner who is seeking the proper mailing address for a federal prisoner or official contact information for a specific federal prison. It would be helpful if the Federal Bureau of Prisons would publish a hardcopy version of this basic information. Unfortunately, it is only available for those who are technologically savvy enough to locate the information on the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website – if, in fact, the seeker knows that this is where to go.

The Directory of Federal Prisons, envisioned as a solution to this problem, is an inexpensive, regularly updated, quick reference guide to contact information and basic character profiles for every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, including private prisons which house federal prisoners. While this information is generally static -- other than population numbers, that is -- it must be updated periodically to reflect local policy revisions that impact information, such as the inmate correspondence address and new prisons being built (or, in the case of private prisons, new contracts awarded or old contracts not renewed).

Our solution is a concise directory containing official contact information, inmate correspondence addresses, and other basic character profile information about each federal prison, such as the gender of the inmates, security level, federal district, population number, and adjacent satellite prison camp, if there is one, etc.

The reader can simply flip to the regional chapter containing the federal prison in question and locate the specific prison in an alphabetical listing. That’s it. All the information is there. It is that easy to use.No more digging through the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website or purchasing expensive legal texts or worry about losing contact with a family member, friend, or client.

To make the information even more accessible, we have cross-referenced the listing of prison facilities in six appendices, five of which further categorize every federal prison to make locating them within the text even easier.

• Appendix 1 divides every federal prison by BOP region,

• Appendix 2 provides an alphabetical list of all federal prisons listed in the directory,

• Appendix 3 lists every federal prison which houses female prisoners, and does this by the BOP region in which it is contained,

• Appendix 4 divides all federal prisons by security level. And,

• Appendix 5 provides a list of every satellite prison camp, also divided by BOP region, and the gender of prisoners housed therein.

Each appendix provides an additional vehicle for locating information about the federal prison which our reader seeks, in a format that they find easiest to use.

On a cautionary note, some of the information will, of course, change. For this reason, we plan to update the text periodically. If you, our reader, locate errors or outdated information, please feel free to contact us at www.PrisonLawBlog.com. We will gladly make the updates and we will provide you with a free copy of the next edition of the text.

The authors push forward, shoulder to shoulder with our readers, in the struggle for a criminal justice system which will be more equitable and innovative and which will transcend locked doors, shattered lives, and broken families. We are with you. You are not forgotten.

About the Authors:


Christopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles. His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.

Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners' rights, and prison education. Recently, he was the focus of an article at Salon.com concerning America's broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.

When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners' rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at PrisonLawBlog.com, PrisonEducation.com, and ChristopherZoukis.com.


Randall Radic is the Senior Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Middle Street Publishing (MSP), where he superintends PrisonLawBlog.com and PrisonEducation.com, and manages all of MSP's print and online endeavors.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in the classics, Dr. Radic matriculated at Agape Seminary, where he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, and then Trinity Seminary where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Dr. Radic is the author of several non-fiction books, including Blood In, Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood (Headpress, 2011), The Sound of Meat (Ephemera Bound Publishing, 2008), A Priest in Hell: True Crimes of America's Clergy (ECW Press, 2009), and Terminal Disaster: Inside the Money Machine (Sunbury Press, 2012).

Dr. Radic has appeared on National Public Radio and A&E Television discussing prison education and America's prison gangs.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

The Directory of Federal Prisons Tour Page:

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2014/02/23/pump-up-your-book-presents-directory-of-federal-prisons-virtual-book-publicity-tour/

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