Keri Blakinger, who was imprisoned due to drug addiction, shared on her TikTok account why she brought the Bible all the time during her almost two years of jail time.
Though a self-declared Atheist, she tells the public that she needed the Bible because it served as an address book, where she could write all the names, addresses, and numbers of her lawyers and other people. She further explained that an incarcerated person is only allowed to bring a religious book when being transferred from jail to prison, and the only religious book available for her in jail at that moment was the Bible.
Blakinger showed her "Jail Bible" to the viewers, which she still has with her since her release containing addresses and numbers she has written on it. A viewer even commented that it was hilarious that the lawyers' information was written in the Book of Judges. Blakinger explained that it was to have an easy recall of where she wrote them. She also opened other pages and said she also wrote in the margins to hide her writings as the book can be confiscated when they see that it was altered or had names of other prisoners, In the Know Yahoo reported.
People in Tiktok Empathized With Her
A lot of people from Tiktok have empathized with Blakinger's experience stating that the prison rule is just cruel and dehumanizing and that it was smart of her to use the Bible and write on it.
One comment even stated that allowing only religious books to be brought inside prison is such a horrible law, to which another person replied that the Bible is important as faith can be helpful in the recovery of many.
On this issue about other books being banned in prison, the National Institute of Correction has this to say, "Each prison governor has the discretion to ban access to any reading material if he or she considers that the content presents a threat to good order or discipline, or material is likely to have an adverse effect on the prisoner's physical or mental condition."
However, there are other prisons like the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prohibits prisoners by reading books by award-winning authors, literary classics, and books about civil rights and prison conditions, which many feel is a violation of prisoners' First Amendment rights.
From Writing In The Bible To Writing Her Own Book
In her interview with the Rolling Stones, Blakinger narrated that after her release in 2012, she went back to college, graduated, and is now an investigative reporter. In fact, she has become the first former incarcerated staff writer of The Marshall Project, non-profit journalism about criminal injustice.
More than that, she recently released her own book entitled, "Corrections in Ink: A Memoir", which was based on her "jailhouse journals", which she described "as a foot-high stack of yellow legal pads, with pages and pages of scrawling blue pen that documented every detail of my life from a time when I was a broken person trying to become less broken."
Watch Blakinger's TikTok video below:
@keribla The ~real~ reason I always had a Bible in #prison. #jail #prisontiktok #bible #prisontok #felonsoftiktok ♬ Jesus Walks - Kanye West