“Brave, brutal . . . a riveting story about suffering, recovery, and redemption. Inspiring and relevant.”
—The New York Times
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.
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. Corrections in Ink is her first book.
"Corrections in Ink is a groundbreaking debut from an extraordinary writer; in her memoir, Blakinger offers a searing work of self-examination, an inquiry of power, and a funny, provocative, and inspiring personal story of addiction, prison, and investigative journalism. Her book stands as a feminist response to David Carr's The Night of the Gun, a testament to where a woman can go after rock-bottom, the power to transform oneself, and the imperative to discover and tell the truth." —Piper Kerman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orange Is the New Black
"Corrections in Ink is a hair-raising tale of a girl torn between perfectionism and self-destruction, and a woman who uses her profound gifts to help set others free. How that girl became that woman demonstrates the beauty of storytelling—and sobriety." —Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout
"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
“Keri Blakinger’s brave, brutal memoir, Corrections in Ink, is a riveting story about suffering, recovery, and redemption. Inspiring and relevant.” —David Sheff, New York Times
"Corrections in Ink is magical. Keri Blakinger is a fresh and brave voice; her writing is sharp and effective. I love this book." —Molly Jong-Fast, editor-at-large at The Daily Beast
"Blakinger’s harrowing tale of her stretch in the American carceral system is one of the more foreboding in recent memory. Thankfully, it’s also punctuated by wonderfully bone-dry humor, which makes the book not only bearable, but brilliant. When it’s over, you’ll want to raze every correctional facility in the land." —Elon Green, author of Last Call
"Blakinger is an extraordinary writer, and this provocative, witty, and painfully honest memoir is an empathic and urgent call to action for reforming the American carceral system." —Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and host of the podcast Bone Valley
"A gorgeously written, page-turning memoir about addiction, prison, and privilege." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"[An] extraordinary debut . . . [Blakinger's] self-awareness is bracing and her indictment of the prison industrial system raises searing questions around its punitive culture. This is absolutely sensational." —Publishers Weekly (starred)
"An exceptional debut . . . a singular reading experience. Raw and important.” —Bookpage (starred)
"Transferring powerful internal dialogue onto the page, Blakinger offers vulnerable, honest recollections, and a story that won’t be forgotten and could even inspire much-needed change." —Booklist