by Keri Blakinger
St. Martin's Press
An electric and unforgettable memoir about a young woman's journey — from the ice rink, to addiction and a prison sentence, to the newsroom — and how she emerged with a fierce determination to expose the broken system she experienced.
Keri Blakinger always lived life at full throttle. Growing up, that meant throwing herself into competitive figure skating with an all-consuming passion that led her to nationals. But when her skating career suddenly fell apart, that meant diving into self-destruction with the intensity she once saved for the ice.
For the next nine years, Keri ricocheted from one dark place to the next: living on the streets, selling drugs and sex, and shooting up between classes all while trying to hold herself together enough to finish her degree at Cornell. Then, on a cold day during her senior year, the police caught her walking down the street with a Tupperware full of heroin.
Her arrest made the front page of the local news and landed her behind bars for nearly two years. There, in the Twilight Zone of New York's jails and prisons, Keri grappled with the wreckage of her missteps and mistakes as she sobered up and searched for a better path. Along the way, she met women from all walks of life — who were all struggling through the same upside-down world of corrections. As the days ticked by, Keri came to understand how broken the justice system is and who that brokenness hurts the most.
After she walked out of her cell for the last time, Keri became a reporter dedicated to exposing our flawed prisons as only an insider could. Written with searing intensity, unflinching honesty, and shocks of humor, Corrections in Ink uncovers that dark, brutal system that affects us all. Not just a story about getting out and getting off drugs, this galvanizing memoir is about the power of second chances; about who our society throws away and who we allow to reach for redemption — and how they reach for it.
"It's hard to think of a reporter more deeply devoted to exposing the brokenness of the American prison system than Keri Blakinger, who in Corrections in Ink turns her journalistic eye and narrative gift to her own story — a riveting journey through the depths of addiction and incarceration. It's impossible to read this book and not be inspired, and called to action, by her dedication to exposing the inhumane and injustice status quo within our country's jails and prisons." — Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of They Can't Kill Us All
"Blakinger’s voice is frank but compassionate, as she lovingly but truthfully owns up to her mistakes. Her deeply researched analysis of the dehumanizing nature of incarceration is trenchant and infused with the passion of her personal experiences. The story moves quickly, populated with characters who are deeply flawed yet often sympathetic." — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author:
Keri Blakinger is an investigative reporter based in Texas, covering criminal justice and injustice for The Marshall Project. She previously worked for the Houston Chronicle and her writing has appeared everywhere from the New York Daily News to the BBC and from VICE to The New York Times. She was a member of the Chronicle's Pulitzer-finalist team in 2018 and her 2019 coverage of women's jails for The Washington Post Magazine helped earn a National Magazine Award. Before becoming a reporter, she did prison time for a drug crime in New York.