Much remains unknown about the oral health status of more than two million incarcerated Americans, but research suggests that many dental needs go unmet behind bars.
Reporting on the problem can be challenging. But in a recent project we wrote about, Keri Blakinger, who covers breaking news, prisons and the death penalty for the Houston Chronicle, found a way to document the desperate wait for dentures in Texas state prisons.
In this new Q&A, Blakinger discusses her work on the stories, which culminated in the announcement by state prison officials of an innovative 3-D printing program that could bring dentures to more Texas prisoners who need them.
Blakinger, who came to journalism after serving time for a drug conviction, also shares a little wisdom on the gift of rebuilding one’s life.