Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The *Education Behind Bars Newsletter*

The *Education Behind Bars Newsletter* (EBBN), a free bi-monthly publication
that will be debuting in July of 2011, is designed to fill the glaring void
in the world of prisoner publications. Often prisoners can be heard
expressing what a shame it is that their prison doesn't offer more
educational opportunities. Likewise, prison educators can be heard
expressing the difficulty in conveying conventional academics to those that
lack the baseline of even a high school or middle school education. EBBN
brings these two groups together with the information that each needs to
succeed.  EBBN will provide prisoner-students with the resources needed to
engage in formal education, and prison educators with detailed insight into
their academically challenged charges.

EBBN's focus is both practical and altruistic. On the practical level the
focus of EBBN is to provide news of top-notch correspondence programs,
overviews and critiques of current in-prison educational programs, real life
examples of difficult teaching situations and solutions to overcome them,
and success stories, along with both first-person experiences and scholarly
examinations of prison education in general. On the altruistic level the
focus of EBBN is to improve the lives of both prisoners and their families,
the work environment and success of prison educators, and to benefit society
in general by giving those in the trenches of prison education the tools
they need to succeed. EBBN will be vast and detailed, knowing and exploring.

Currently, EBBN is in the design stage. It is the brainchild of both
Christopher Zoukis (prison education expert and prisoner at FCI-Petersburg)
and Linda Huddleston (owner/operator of Midnight Express Books). As Mr.
Zoukis and Mrs. Huddleston finish crafting the layout, EBBN is aggressively
preparing for its debut issue. This includes a direct mailing campaign and
an online press release campaign, along with connections being made to
prison educators the world over. Already several renowned prison education
experts have agreed to contribute to both this project and the sister Prison
Education Blog <>.

EBBN is currently seeking support from prison educators and
prisoner-students alike. This support is requested in the form of articles,
essays, studies, and policy papers on prison education, educational program
reviews, and even conceptual ideas that could be integrated into EBBN. As an
altruistic and academic publication EBBN is very open to well-developed
pieces that further both the discussion on prison education and the
practical aspects of engaging in it. Pieces are to be in the 250 to 2,500
word range (some exceptions do apply with prior approval) and utilize
endnotes and a references section if needed. Authors are to include a short
bio which includes any academic or professional accomplishments.

As the debut issue comes near Mr. Zoukis realizes the weight of such a
project. As he says, "This isn't some kind of hobby or past-time. This is
real, this is now, and this vital to the economic stability of both our
nation and the millions connected to the current over-bloated corrections
system in the United States." He continues, "The answer is simple: prison
education is the single most cost-effective proven method of reducing
recidivism that we as a people know of." Mr. Zoukis has pledged both his
financial support and the many hours of work needed to make to such a worthy
cause a reality.

With this support comes a lofty goal, the goal of a 300-copy minimum debut
issue circulation which is being distributed for free. To add to this, EBBN
is also being hosted on this site for free. As Mr. Zoukis says, "An
education is an inherent human right that cannot be assigned a price-tag.
Therefore, I will do everything that I can to get EBBN into the hands of
those who need it regardless of their ability to pay for such information."

Submissions for EBBN can be emailed to Mr. Zoukis at

They can also be mailed directly to him at:

Christopher Zoukis

P.O. Box 1000 #22132-058

Petersburg, VA 23804

Any prisoner correspondence or donations must go to:

Education Behind Bars Newsletter

P.O. Box 69

Berryville, AR 72616

*All checks should be made out to Midnight Express Books*

To find out more about Mr. Zoukis' efforts in the prison education realm,
including the class that he teaches from inside a federal prison, please
visit his Prison Education
Blog<>or follow
him on Twitter @Czoukis.

Picture courtesy:

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