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Keri Blakinger is a staff writer whose work focuses on prisons and jails. She writes “Inside Out,” a regular column published in collaboration with NBC News. She previously covered criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, VICE, the New York Daily News and The New York Times. She is the organization's first formerly incarcerated reporter. Her memoir, "Corrections in Ink", comes out in June 2022. She hates the cold and is based in Texas.
Twitter @keribla
Inside Out November 11
As many news outlets cut back on publishing mugshots, some states and cities are grappling with a more fundamental question: Why do police release the images — and should they be allowed to?
Lance Lowry, who recently retired after 20 years as a corrections officer, outside the Huntsville Unit in Texas.
News November 1
Fewer guards lead to more lockdowns, rising tensions and scant access to healthcare.
Inside Out October 14
Lockups use unreliable tests to claim that lawyers are sending drugs to their clients behind bars.
Inside Out September 23
Could changes in jailers’ attitudes lead to better jail conditions and fewer deaths?
John Henry Ramirez, who is incarcerated on death row at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit, in Livingston, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2021.
Death Sentences September 7
As a Texas man sues for his pastor to touch him during his execution, a guide to rights for the condemned.
Inside Out September 2
Officials claim programs provide skills, but critics say there’s little evidence.
Inside Out August 12
Prison suicides have been rising for years. Experts fear the pandemic has made it worse.
Inside Out July 22
In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.
Rodney Reed, pictured here meeting with TV celebrity Dr. Phil, is on death row at the Polunsky Unit in Texas.  His case has drawn the support of Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé, Oprah and Gigi Hadid.
Death Sentences July 16
The case of Rodney Reed — whose innocence claims were championed by the reality TV star — raises questions about celebrities’ role in the criminal justice system.
News July 15
Behind bars, drug use is rampant and uniquely deadly, new data shows.