Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guest Post College for Convicts by Christopher Zoukis

The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained.
Presenting a workable solution to America’s mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.

Buy on Amazon /  B&N / McFarland

                                                                Guest Post:

I never know what to write in guest blogs, but usually I find that people like to know a little bit about the inspiration and the reason I write. For me, the need to write came about because I was incarcerated. I needed another way to talk about what I was going through, and I thought- maybe there are others out there like me, that want to know more about this world that I live in. So once I started writing I realized that it’s not always easy, but I always tell people and writers of all kinds, just because the road is tough or people tell you that you can't do something, doesn't mean you can't. It just means that they think you can't. The very fact that I, a federal prisoner, managed to create several popular websites, write and publish several books and effectively advocate for prisoner’s rights, education, and social justice really shows that if there is a will, there is a way. But for most writers it’s all about finding a way. And that’s the challenge for authors. Sometimes it can feel daunting to dedicate yourself to the written word. They always tell you to read, read, read, but then sometimes the more you read the more inadequate you can feel. You think to yourself “man, this person can really write. 

How am I ever going to compete with this?” I think the key here is that you can’t compete. Your story is your story. It isn’t anyone else’s. If you let those demons in and don’t grab onto your authentic voice then you will never succeed. It’s not a career for the fainthearted. But it you really feel that you have to get your story out- then you have to muster up your strength and don’t let anyone do or say anything to get in your way. For me, my aim in writing has always been to make a difference, to make the world a better place. I find a problem and I craft a solution. But maybe your writing is about a meaningful story about your family, or a friend or something you saw that happened, or that you found interesting. Other people may be part of that story but no one except you can tell it the way you do. Your view will always be unique. So I think it’s vital to view writing and those authors that you admire as part of a community, not a competition. We compete for too many things these days. If I can reach one reader who takes my book and says “wow I never knew about this before, I should let my friend know,” then that means the world to me. So if you are feeling a little down about your work, have some faith and remember my motto of fight the good fight, love like there is no tomorrow, and remember who you are. It will all come out in your writing!

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