The Marshall Project’s Keri Blakinger

The Title of My Book Sounds Like a Tattoo Memoir

Keri Blakinger is a staff writer at The Marshall Project, where she focuses on prisons and jails, and writes the “Inside Out” column. Before moderating a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation panel titled “What Would the End of Mass Incarceration Mean for Prison Towns?”—convened in Susanville, the site of one of California’s projected prison closures—she sat down in our traveling green room to tell us about her new memoir, her favorite figure skaters, and what she thinks about the prison system.

After the Prisons Close, Where Does That Leave Rural Communities?

Incarceration Is Big Business In Towns Like Susanville, Which Now Must Find a New Economic and Civic Path Forward

Efforts to close prisons need to come with assistance to rural communities that depend on these institutions, said panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event in the northeast California town …

Deuel Vocational Institution

Out With Mass Incarceration and in With Mass Commerce

Can California Call It Progress When Rural Prisons Are Replaced With Retail Warehouses?

As California starts closing prisons, what might open in their place?

I glimpsed one answer to that question while driving to Deuel Vocational Institution, between the San Joaquin County cities of …

The Verdict Is in—California’s Dickensian Courts Are Failing Us

Our Clogged Legal System Creates Overcrowded Prisons, Underfunded Schools, and Housing Shortages

Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.

California’s housing shortage, its poverty, its poor business climate, and …

California Prison Sentences Don’t Work Any More

Why Now Is the Time to Change the Rules I Helped Make

Just how much discretion should we give to officialdom when sentencing people to prison for crimes?

It’s a hard question, and, as I’ve learned firsthand, the answer can change through time. …