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The scholarship covers tuition and books for one federal prisoner to take one course at the regionally accredited Adams State University.

‘Commitment to Change’ College Scholarship for Federal Prisoners

On June 14, 2014, the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, in conjunction with the national criminal justice reform organization Prisology, announced the latest installment in their Commitment to Change College Scholarship. This scholarship covers the cost of tuition and books for one federal prisoner to take one course at the regionally accredited Adams State University, a university highly regarded by most incarcerated students for its prisoner-friendly correspondence policies and recommended in both Education Behind Bars(Sunbury Press, 2012) and the Prisoners Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs in the U.S. and Canada (Prison Legal News, 2009).

prisoner-educationThis scholarship is offered four times a year to one federal prisoner who submits either an essay or a piece of artwork for judging. There is no entry fee. Due to Prisology’s significant reform efforts during the first quarter of 2014 — which consisted of testifying before Congress concerning the two-point sentencing reduction for federal drug offenders and its potential retroactivity, and other non-Congressional outreach concerning clemency petitions and various federal sentencing legislation and initiatives — this quarter’s scholarship will be awarded to not one, but two federal prisoners, the first and second place winners of the current contest.

The Commitment to Change College Scholarship contest criteria are as follows:

• Participants must be incarcerated in a federal prison;
• Participants must possess a GED or high school diploma prior to entry;
• Participants may not already possess a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree;
• Participants must submit a piece of writing or artwork (e.g., a painting or drawing) that illustrates the goodness of human nature; and
• A title should be provided for each entry regardless if the entry is an essay or a piece of artwork.
• All entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2014.

This contest is open to any of the 217,000 federal prisoners incarcerated in any of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ 119 facilities, as long as they qualify for contest entry, as outlined in the above contest criteria. All contest submissions should be made to:

Jeremy Gordon
Attn: Scholarship
215 W. Franklin Street, Suite 100
Waxahachie, TX 75165

More information about the Commitment to Change College Scholarship, the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, and Prisology’s prison reform efforts — including their recently filed case against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Prisology v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No. 14-969) — can be found online at Gordon’s law office website and Prisology.org.

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About Christopher Zoukis

Christopher Zoukis, a writer currently incarcerated at FCC Petersburg (Medium), is an impassioned and active prison education advocate, a legal commentator, and a 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." While in prison, he has earned numerous academic, legal, and ministerial credentials. Christopher is very knowledgeable about prison-related legal issues, prison policy, federal regulations, and case law. He is the author of Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014) and thePrison Education Guide (Prison Legal News Publishing, 2016). The Federal Prison Handbook is an IndieReader Discovery Awards winner. A regularly featured contributing writer for The Huffington Post and Prison Legal News, the nation's most prominent prison law publication, Christopher has enjoyed significant media exposure through appearances with the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch, Vice.com, Salon.com, In These Times, The Jeff McArthur Show, The Simi Sara Show,TheCommentary.ca, 88.9 WERS' award-winning "You Are Here" radio segment, and The Examiner. Other articles and book reviews appeared in The New York Journal of Books, the Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, Midwest Book Review, Basil and Spice, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, AND Magazine, Truth-Out.org, Rain Taxi, and the Education Behind Bars Newsletter, with content syndicated by the Associated Press, Google News, and Yahoo News. He established three websites: PrisonEducation.com, PrisonerResource.com, and ChristopherZoukis.com, and was a former editor of the Education Behind Bars Newsletter. In 2011, his fiction won two PEN American Center Prison Writing Awards for a screenplay and a short story. He taught a popular course on writing and publishing to over 100 fellow prisoners. 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. Christopher will not allow incarceration to waste his years or halt the progress of his life. He began his prison terms as a confused kid who made poor decisions but is today determined to create a better life. "We can't let the past define us," he says. "We have to do something today to make tomorrow what we want it to be."

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