Join the Discussion: PrisonEducation.com Welcomes Your Input

By Christopher Zoukis

We at PrisonEducation.com would like to extend the invitation to our readers to contribute to this pro-prison education forum which we've created.  We are true believers not only in the power of education to transform those in prison, but in the power of communal involvement.  We heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a boy," only we took it one step further.  We believe, "It takes a community to advocate for change."  We realize that while we can, and do, write about prison education topics daily, that this was never meant to be a one-way discussion.  We aim for you to like the content and be compelled to make your own contributions.  Photo courtesy missouricure.org

From the start, many of us came to the field of prison education through a guide.  I know that my guide was a man by the name of Jon Marc Taylor, Ph.D.  Dr. Taylor is the author of the Prisoners' Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence in the U.S. and Canada, 3rd Edition (Prison Legal News, 2012).  He is a state prisoner who has written extensively on the need for more funding for prison education programs and how prison education holds the key to reforming those in prison and giving them the tools to support themselves and live healthy, crime-free lives.  While I've never met Dr. Taylor in person, I have had the privilege of corresponding with him.  And I'm proud to be able to say that through his shining light, I have felt the motivation to do more and to be more, not for myself, but for those around me whom I have the duty of supporting and inspiring to do and be more.

Much as Dr. Taylor has served as a source of inspiration to me, I hope that PrisonEducation.com will be a source of inspiration for you.  I hope that you'll read something and really connect with it.  I hope that you'll use it to further your own practice and advocacy.  And, a bit more trivially, I hope that you'll comment, share, like, and tweet about it.  Because this shows us that we are doing a good job.

But more than helping to fuel our fire at PrisonEducation.com, we sincerely hope that by you interacting with us, others will too.  We hope that your comments will inspire others to get involved.  We hope that those in your various social networks will enjoy the content you are sharing and talking about and will be inspired to do the same.  In this way, the message of the transformative power of education can be spread, go viral, and convince others about the need to educate America's incarcerated class.  In this way, we are all fulfilling the mission of prison education advocacy.

Whether it's a comment, a tweet, a ‘Like,’ or simply emailing an article to a friend, it will advance our mission.  And we greatly appreciate it.  We, all who are Americans, are stakeholders in the prison education cause, whether we agree with it or not.  Educating America's incarcerated class helps all of us equally.  So, take up your bullhorn and make your voice heard.  Pick up your pen and engage in personal advocacy.  Make a difference in your own lives and in the lives of the countless incarcerated students who can't do so for themselves.  As an incarcerated student myself, I'm counting upon you.