Keri Blakinger on Growing Through A Prison Sentence

Grow Through It: Legal Issues, Incarceration

Keri Blakinger, author of Corrections in Ink, describes growing up as a competitive figure skater. When her skating career fell apart, she fell apart. She struggled with addiction for almost a decade, doing heroin, sex work, and living on the streets.

Blakinger was arrested in 2010 for drug possession and served under two years in prison. She got through it by learning how to make time pass — doing crosswords, running laps in her cell and reading.

She learned that our criminal justice system is broken.

Blakinger considers herself lucky and privileged. When she left prison, she was able to finish her degree and became a journalist.

She doesn’t believe there is any silver bullet for addiction. Everyone’s story is different. She found something else she could be passionate and obsessive about — her work as a reporter covering the criminal justice system.

Tracey Syphax on Growing Through Incarceration

Grow Through It: Legal Issues, Incarceration

Tracey Syphax, serial entrepreneur and author of From the Block to the Boardroom, describes a childhood filled with traumatic experiences that led to drug use, stealing cars, drug dealing, getting shot, and spending 7 years in prison. He turned his life around after reading the bible twice—cover to cover—in solitary confinement, developing a strong faith, and believing that God saved him. Syphax says that the possible is always possible. If he could go from the crackhouse to the White House, anyone can find their purpose and passion in life.

Chris Wilson on Growing Through a Life Sentence

Grow Through It: Legal Issues/Incarceration

Chris Wilson, author of The Master Plan, used hard work and a master plan to turn his life sentence in prison to a second chance at life. He grew through it with the help of a strong support system, by taking responsibility for his mistakes, and by never losing hope.