Christopher Zoukis, a young writer currently incarcerated at FCC Petersburg (Medium), is an impassioned and active prison education advocate, a legal commentator, and prolific writer of books, book reviews, and prison law articles. While living in federal prison at various security levels, retaliations for his activism have earned him long stretches in solitary, or "the hole."
Today Christopher is successfully working on a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Business/Law) from Adams State University. Following his 2016 graduation, he plans on attending Adams State University's MBA program. He regularly advises fellow prisoners and prison consultants about legal issues and federal regulations governing the Federal Bureau of Prisons operations. Upon release he plans to attend law school and become a federal criminal defense attorney.
Zoukis is an award-winning writer who contributes his writing to magazines and newspaper as well writes his own books. Below is a summary of his writing accomplishments.
Zoukis has written for the following publications:
- The Huffington Post
- Prison Legal News
- Kansas City Star
- The Sacramento Bee
- Blog Critics
- Midwest Book Review
- Basil and Spice
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- SF Gate
- Rain Taxi
- Education Behind Bars Newsletter
- The Associated Press
- Google News Yahoo! News, and others.
Along with his many writing projects, Zoukis is the founder of PrisonEducation.com and a former editor of the Education Behind Bars Newsletter. He has been a staff writer at the State and Federal Criminal Law Review, The Update: Federal Criminal and Immigration Law, and the Texas Criminal Law Review, currently contributes to the Corcoran Sun and is an authorized book reviewer for the Crown Publishing Group (part of Random House).
If you are a member of the media and would like to book an interview with Christopher, just Email his Publicist.
Zoukis represented by Greg Aunapu of Salkind Literary Agency, and has written the following books:
- College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons
- Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security
- The Directory of Federal Prisons: PrisonLawBlog.com's Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory
In 2011, Zoukis' creative work won PEN American Center Prison Writing Awards for his screen play Healing Bin Laden (Drama-Second Place) and his short story Jesusland (Fiction-Honorable Mention).
Zoukis regularly advises fellow inmates and prison consulting groups about matters surrounding Federal Bureau of Prisons' policy and the federal regulations governing it.
In fact, Zoukis has personally successfully litigated against the Federal Bureau of Prisons concerning First Amendment, disciplinary, custody and classification, legal activities, correspondence, medical, and food service matters.
Even a 5-month stay in solitary confinement during the beginning of 2012 for his writing activities related to the advocacy of prison education did not dampen his spirit or crush his resolve.
While he personally assists fellow prisoners with filing administrative remedies, contesting disciplinary matters, locating viable correspondence education programs, and advocating for those who are being medically neglected, he assists even more fellow prisoners by consulting on their legal projects. His legal expertise is demonstrated by his contributions to Prison Legal News.
Currently, Zoukis is engaged in a number of other larger projects. These include teaching writing and publishing to fellow prisoners, writing several novels, other regular writing commitments and his academic and legal studies.
Zoukis maintains memberships with the following associations:
- The American Bar Association (including their Criminal Justice Section and Section on Litigation)
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- The American Correctional Association
- The American Society of Journalists and Authors
- Amnesty International
- The Cassell Network of Writers
- The Correctional Education Association
- The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
- The National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists
- The National Lawyers Guild
- The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (including their Appellate Defender Section)
- The National Writers Association
- The National Writers Union
- PEN American Center
- The Pennsylvania Prison Society
- The Society of Professional Journalists
- The Southern Poverty Law Center
For more information about Christopher Zoukis, visit christopherzoukis.com.
Dianne Walker, an accomplished businesswoman and criminal justice reform advocate, is an active participant and believer in restorative justice.
Throughout the past 8 years she has been a central figure in several restorative justice circles and has had her accomplishments known and appreciated by many. From 2006 to 2010 Dianne launched, marketed, and operated the Full Circle Center for Community Restorative Justice, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services to young adult criminal defendants within the 11th Judicial District and Chaffee County, Colorado. From 2005 to 2008 she assisted the Alliance Against Domestic Abuse (Salida, CO) by volunteering over 500 hours of on-call, crisis management for the group and the domestic violence victims it assists. And from 2008 to 2010 Dianne assisted the Compassionate Listening Study Group by facilitating book study groups based on Marshall Rosenberg's Non-violent Communication method of conflict resolution.
Dianne, like most criminal justice reform advocates, came to care about criminal justice reform through stark reality of personal involvment. In 2004, she had a brush with the law which inspired her to investigate what she could do to make a positive impact on the criminal justice system. This is what led her to found the Full Circle Center for Community Restorative Justice, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Her goal was to help troubled young people come to a better understanding of their actions, the effects of their actions, and how to make better decisions. Effectively, she pioneered a diversion program which aimed to help those heading down a troublesome path. She brought all parties together in an effort to effect meaningful change and understanding.
After this 2004 brush with the criminal justice system, Dianne, determined to help other similarly situated persons, immersed herself into education as a means to train herself to make a difference. In 2005, she attended Landmark Education (Denver, CO) and completed The Curriculum for Living, The Introduction to Leadership Program, and their 20-hour Communication Course. Also in 2005, she attended and graduated from the Institute of Advanced Dispute Resolution (Boulder, CO).
In 2006 and in 2008 Dianne participated in the San Louis Valley Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (Alamosa, CO), where she participated in 16-hour workshops aimed at helping professionals in the restorative justice realm to polish and hone their advocacy skills. In 2006 she attended the National Conference on Restorative Justice (Kerrville, TX) and she participated in the Youth Transformation Center's (Colorado Springs, CO) 12-hour program on the juvenile justice system. In 2007 and 2008 she attended the Gunnison Valley Restorative Justice (Gunnison, CO) program where she learned a method of counseling called Family Group Conferencing, and in 2008 she received training from Core Mediation Training (Denver, CO). And in 2009 she attended both the Annual Mediation Conference (Denver, CO) and the Restorative Justice Conference (Colorado Springs, CO).
To add to all of these accomplishments, in 2009 Dianne earned an Associates of Arts in Human Services from Axia College of the University of Phoenix, and in 2012 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration, also from University of Phoenix. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Counseling Psychology degree from Grand Canyon University with the goal of eventually earning a doctorate.