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Corrections in Ink: A Memoir

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Corrections in Ink: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marika

    A brutally honest memoir by Keri Blakinger who was a former National skating star and an outstanding student at Cornell University. Keri writes in detail what derailed her and her pursuit of a skating career, and while drugs are obviously a major factor, it is not the only factor. Why? Because people with positive self images don't typically turn to a life of drugs. Despite all the accoutrements of a successful life, Keri struggled with self esteem from an early age and when at 17 her skating pa A brutally honest memoir by Keri Blakinger who was a former National skating star and an outstanding student at Cornell University. Keri writes in detail what derailed her and her pursuit of a skating career, and while drugs are obviously a major factor, it is not the only factor. Why? Because people with positive self images don't typically turn to a life of drugs. Despite all the accoutrements of a successful life, Keri struggled with self esteem from an early age and when at 17 her skating partner left her, she floundered. That sense of unmooring left her shattered and alone and seeking solace, which she found in drugs. Comparisons to the bestselling book Orange is the New Black are valid, however this is is a memoir that stands on its own. Keri who is now a journalist/author who writes about mass incarceration, is passionate about the horrific treatment of those who are incarcerated in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. That passion shows in this book. I have a feeling that this memoir will be made into a tv series/movie. * I read an advance copy and was not compensated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clairelouloves

    I enjoyed this book so much. The author writes her personal story of being a vulnerable teen who plummeted to the depths of a horrifying addiction before finally going through the prison system and coming out the other side. This book was insightful and was told with wit and intelligence. It has left me screaming out for a prison reform. I highly recommend. Thanks to Netgalley for the arc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ali (exercise_read_repeat)

    An absolutely fantastic memoir about addiction, mental health, prison, and redemption. Keri’s journey is heartbreaking but beautifully written. It was particularly interesting to read her journey from prisoner to a journal who reported on the Texas incarceration system. The audio is read by Keri, herself, and I could not recommend it more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tulsi

    Incredible read. The resilience of the author and her no-nonsense introspection about her choices and their consequences is riveting. Blakinger clawed her way out of a system designed for most to fail and she now shines a light on the flaws of that system. She tells her story without holding much back and without taking on a woe-is-me approach — being cognizant of and acknowledging her privilege at various points in the book. Highly recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Zalewski

    Thank you, Keri, for sharing your story. This memoir is written so well and so transparently that I feel like Keri was telling me about her life friend-to-friend. She shows so much bravery, resilience, and awareness describing her journey. I like that she ties in her learnings about discrimination within the prison system as well as acknowledges her privilege as she goes into intimate, startling detail about her experiences. I believe she is pure-heartedly doing what she can to advocate for all Thank you, Keri, for sharing your story. This memoir is written so well and so transparently that I feel like Keri was telling me about her life friend-to-friend. She shows so much bravery, resilience, and awareness describing her journey. I like that she ties in her learnings about discrimination within the prison system as well as acknowledges her privilege as she goes into intimate, startling detail about her experiences. I believe she is pure-heartedly doing what she can to advocate for all prisoners and this memoir is laying bare her life for the sake of starting conversations and adding a testimony to the case against the way the prison system is run. I can personally identify with some of the tendencies and personality traits Keri mentioned having as a child/teen and can see how easily seemingly harmless behaviors and choices can escalate while not realizing it's like being a frog slowly boiled alive. I'm fortunate to have received a pre-published copy of the this book and would recommend it to anyone once they can get their hands on it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I was intrigued by this memoir as it had local ties. I grew up 40 minutes from Ithaca, NY. This was a very raw memoir, tough to read at times, but it shows how drug addiction can happen to ANYONE. I appreciated the vulnerability and honesty. The book also was informative about the prison system, it is a real look inside. The author’s writing was very fascinating and impressive. I will be recommending this book to anyone who wants to know more about the prison system. Thank you to Net Galley and I was intrigued by this memoir as it had local ties. I grew up 40 minutes from Ithaca, NY. This was a very raw memoir, tough to read at times, but it shows how drug addiction can happen to ANYONE. I appreciated the vulnerability and honesty. The book also was informative about the prison system, it is a real look inside. The author’s writing was very fascinating and impressive. I will be recommending this book to anyone who wants to know more about the prison system. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for a honest feedback.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Piper

    Corrections in Ink by Keri Blakinger 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. Blakinger's 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 t Corrections in Ink by Keri Blakinger 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. Blakinger's 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ian Macadam

    After her career fell apart, Keri fell to rock bottom. From prison she made the BBC and won a National Magazine Award, telling her story with honesty and determination to change the lives and fates of others.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diane Bateman

    I loved how well this book was written . I liked how this book talks about second chances and forgiveness . I thought it was emotional for me in spots and it was hard to set the book down once I started reading it .

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Davis

    An intimate portrayal of the prison system from a compelling journalist who lived it first-hand. Written by Keri Blakinger, a former aspiring competitive figure skater, Ivy Leaguer, prisoner, and now journalist/writer. Her memoir left me with the strong desire for prison reform and wish that all had the opportunity for second chances. Riveting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Owens

    Wonderful book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Brutally honest reflection of how Keri went from a figure skating to a heroin addict to prisoner to a writer in a matter ofa decade. Wonderfully written, it gives a true look inside our prisons and someone struggling with mental Illness in the 1990s.

  13. 5 out of 5

    H

    Wow. What a powerful and hard story to read. The author is brave to put herself out there and I wish her continued health and happiness. I highly recommend this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Hayward-Lavallee

    An unflinching look at a journey from academic and athletic excellence through a journey of drug addiction, prison and a discovery of self. Reader beware this is an eye opener about the whys and wherefores of drug addiction and incarceration.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Keri is a brilliant writer who shows the reader a completely uncensored view into the women's prison system. I was horrified and appalled at some of the events she detailed and can't believe the magnitude of injustices that occur on a frequent basis. I hope this story will shed a light onto the prison system and show others that success is possible after you might think hope is lost. Keri is a brilliant writer who shows the reader a completely uncensored view into the women's prison system. I was horrified and appalled at some of the events she detailed and can't believe the magnitude of injustices that occur on a frequent basis. I hope this story will shed a light onto the prison system and show others that success is possible after you might think hope is lost.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    The author didn't hold back when writing her life story. It is a powerful and honest memoir. The author didn't hold back when writing her life story. It is a powerful and honest memoir.

  17. 5 out of 5

    alathea wilson

    A beautiful memoir that captures the struggle with addiction and how that can effect anyone, even an ex-figure skater who grew up in the upper-middle class social circle. Keri writes about not only her experiences in jail/prison, but everything that led up to that point, as well as the aftermath of her release. She puts into perspective truly how broken the system is, and despite the odds against her, she beat it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book was amazing. Keri is an exceptional writer, drawing you into the story and making you truly understand what was happening in her life. I actually marked several passages, which I haven’t done since grad school. Well done, Keri! (It’s the kind of book that makes you feel like you can call the author by their first name!)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I love a good book written by a journalist as I'm often drawn to the distinctive and compelling writing style that usually comes with the territory. Add a mutual background in skating, a shared regional growing up experience, and the fact that when Keri was arrested in Ithaca, my brother in law was concurrently getting his law degree at Cornell, well, I just knew this was a book that I will definitely stick with me for quite some time. From the first page, Keri didn't disappoint. I have laughed, I love a good book written by a journalist as I'm often drawn to the distinctive and compelling writing style that usually comes with the territory. Add a mutual background in skating, a shared regional growing up experience, and the fact that when Keri was arrested in Ithaca, my brother in law was concurrently getting his law degree at Cornell, well, I just knew this was a book that I will definitely stick with me for quite some time. From the first page, Keri didn't disappoint. I have laughed, I have cried, I have exclaimed "holy shit" out loud, and repeatedly shared facts about the prison system that I have learned with friends and colleagues. Keri writes with a finely honed and distinctive voice that makes her story all the more compelling. Alternating between chapters of her life, they are all seamlessly pulled together by her masterful pen. To know that her work in recent years has been focused on effecting change to the same system she experienced is inspiring and heartbreaking. Keri's writing conveys not just her own experiences, but shows the human side of a system that many of us do not often think of, let alone experience. Prisons are a nebulous space and the people who are incarcerated there are not often people that the average American puts time and effort into caring about. While I've had my own experience with family members going to prison for drug related offenses, once they were out, I stopped thinking about it, but they never did, and it's clear Keri never did either.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Gioia

    I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader's copy of this one. A very honest, raw and well-written memoir and indictment of the prison system. Blakinger was a talented, smart, privileged girl whose perfectionism and anxiety caught up with her in the form of drug use, a suicide attempt and more. Lots of inside looks at many worlds many of us have not experienced--figure skating, drug dealing, prostitution, journalism and mostly, women's prison. (An aside--as someone who worked for a decade with I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader's copy of this one. A very honest, raw and well-written memoir and indictment of the prison system. Blakinger was a talented, smart, privileged girl whose perfectionism and anxiety caught up with her in the form of drug use, a suicide attempt and more. Lots of inside looks at many worlds many of us have not experienced--figure skating, drug dealing, prostitution, journalism and mostly, women's prison. (An aside--as someone who worked for a decade with an organization that sends books to women in prison, it was nice to get a shout out for prison book projects in the acknowledgements.) Sometimes it's a little over-dramatically written, especially the last sentence of chapters and sometimes it's a little repetitive but these quibbles do not stop it from being a book that is both page-turning and informative. Definitely recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    In Keri Blakinger’s memoir, Corrections in Ink, she tells her story of competing as an elite athlete, her decline into drug addiction, her incarceration, and her recovery and journalism career. At times harrowing, the author does not hold back in describing the details of her experiences both as an addict and her time in the corrections system. She discusses the many abuses of people within prison, oftentimes people who desperately need medical attention or rehabilitation. Corrections in Ink is g In Keri Blakinger’s memoir, Corrections in Ink, she tells her story of competing as an elite athlete, her decline into drug addiction, her incarceration, and her recovery and journalism career. At times harrowing, the author does not hold back in describing the details of her experiences both as an addict and her time in the corrections system. She discusses the many abuses of people within prison, oftentimes people who desperately need medical attention or rehabilitation. Corrections in Ink is gripping and well-written. It’s a great read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system or prison reform.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    3.5 Won this ARC from Goodreads. The book is an overall quick, interesting read. It always amazes me the quick hold drugs can take on someone. Keri was competing at a National Level in figure skating and months later has spiraled - addicted to drugs, leaving home and resorting to anything she can to pay for drugs. The book details her time spent in county jail and prison. Now sober she is trying to correct wrongs she sees in the justice system and has gotten her life back "on track". She also rec 3.5 Won this ARC from Goodreads. The book is an overall quick, interesting read. It always amazes me the quick hold drugs can take on someone. Keri was competing at a National Level in figure skating and months later has spiraled - addicted to drugs, leaving home and resorting to anything she can to pay for drugs. The book details her time spent in county jail and prison. Now sober she is trying to correct wrongs she sees in the justice system and has gotten her life back "on track". She also recognizes her unique position that she came from privilege and partly due to that she has had an easier time getting another chance to make a difference.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is a very impressive memoir. Blakinger is a smart girl who screwed up. And she is also a wonderful writer. She ends up in jail and prison and her documentation of her stay and her personal accounting of it is an eye-opener. And.. there is much to admire about this author and a lot to consider about just how and why she went down this particular path. It's both a cautionary tale and a redemptive tale. I hope it is read and talked about widely. We do not know as much about prison life as we t This is a very impressive memoir. Blakinger is a smart girl who screwed up. And she is also a wonderful writer. She ends up in jail and prison and her documentation of her stay and her personal accounting of it is an eye-opener. And.. there is much to admire about this author and a lot to consider about just how and why she went down this particular path. It's both a cautionary tale and a redemptive tale. I hope it is read and talked about widely. We do not know as much about prison life as we think and as we need to know. Corrections in Ink is a good remedy for this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Enfield

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Mea

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karin Aiello

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