I started reading a new book last night. It is called “Corrections In Ink”, a memoir by Keri Blakinger.
Keri Blakinger had a figure skating career that led her to the nationals before that fell apart. Then she went diving into self-destruction with the same intensity she once saved for the ice.
For the next nine years, Keri ricocheted from one dark place to the next. She lived on the streets, selling drugs and sex, and shooting up. All between classes as she tried to finish her degree at Cornell.
During her senior year of college, a policeman caught her walking down the street with a Tupperware container full of heroin. She was behind bars for two years.
This was not a girl who came from the a dismal background. Her father was a Harvard-educated attorney and her mother was a teacher who graduated from Cornell.
Her parents gave her everything they could for her to succeed. But Keri had always been drawn to dark places.
The Broken System:
Along the way, she met women from all walks of life, who were all struggling through the same upside-down world of corrections. 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. She was dedicated to exposing our flawed prisons as only an insider could.
“Corrections in Ink” uncovers that dark, brutal system that ultimately affects us all.
Not just a story about getting out and getting off drugs, this memoir is about the power of second chances.
At The Beginning Of The Book Is This:
“Nobody heard him, the dead man, but still he lay moaning. I was much further out than you thought, and not waving but drowning.”– Stevie Smith
I suppose it’s hard to tell if someone is waving or drowning if they’re so far out you can barely see them. And that seems to be the story of Keri Blakinger.
The signs were not always recognized because she managed to hide them so well. But her path veered farther and farther in the wrong direction as she became a teenager and then an adult.
Orange Is The New Black On Netflix:
I’m watching the last season, Season 7, of “Orange Is The New Black.”
It must seem that I’m drawn to stories about women’s prisons these days.
And while watching the two separate accounts of women in prison, one thing became clear. Some people, women in these cases, often don’t have much of a chance. Violence is often a way of life that they learned from a young age.
Many are born poor, grow up poor, and doors are often closed in their faces. Then they end up in the system, which flings them to and fro for years.
It’s hard to make it on the outside once you’ve lived on the inside. Who wants to hire a felon?
And so the revolving door of criminality is often perpetuated.
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