Interview: Incarcerated Author Christopher Zoukis

By Randall Radic

In 2012, Sunbury Press published his book, Education Behind Bars:  A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security

In 2014, not only is his latest text, the Directory of Federal Prisons, being published by Middle Street Publishing — of which I’m a co-author — but he also recently signed a contract with McFarland & Company for another book, College for Convicts

And if that’s not enough, he’s a regular contributor to PrisonLawBlog.com, PrisonEducation.com, and Prison Legal News.  

Who is he?  Christopher Zoukis, author and noted legal commentator.  He’s also incarcerated at FCI Petersburg, VA. 

Obviously, we’re not talking about your prototypical prisoner.  Christopher Zoukis / Photo courtesy Christopher Zoukis

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about what – in a literary sense – he’s been up to, along with discussing his present and future projects.  As the interview reveals, writing from inside prison is challenging, to say the least.  The phrase “writer’s block” takes on a whole new meaning from the prison perspective.  The tools that most writers take for granted – computer, word processing software, printers – are simply not available behind bars.  Access to research material is all but non-existent.  Such conditions necessitate dedication, resolve and a positive mental attitude.  And a Type A personality doesn’t hurt, either.

As you’ll see when you read the interview, Mr. Zoukis’ dominant traits are passion, enthusiasm and simple human kindness.  The miracle is that his enthusiasm exists behind bars.  In my experience, finding anyone who is enthusiastic about anything is extraordinary.  And that’s outside of prison, in the ‘real’ world.  Thus, discovering enthusiasm in a prison is mind-blowing.  All that to say this:  Christopher Zoukis is a fascinating individual.   

The interview was first published by Blog Critics and picked up by a number of other outlets, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  Clicking here will take you to the interview.