As a criminal justice reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Keri Blakinger has a special interest in covering the conditions of prisoners — in part because she spent nearly two years locked up in county and state correctional facilities herself.
Dr. David E. Smith is Founder and President of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics in San Francisco. He is a specialist in treating drug addicts including heroin. He talks about the rise in heroin's popularity in the 1990's.
Filmmaker Steven Okazaki talks about his movie "Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of The Street." It will show on HBO tomorrow night 4/14. The film tracks five teenage addicts in San Francisco over a two-year period. As a filmmaker, Okazaki won an Academy Award in 1991 for his film "Survivors" which retold the stories of several Hiroshima survivors. He also directed "Living on Tokyo Time" a comedy about a Japanese dishwasher . He lives in Berkeley, California.
Neurologist William Langston. His work plunged him into a medical mystery, and a hot political controversy about the ethics of medicine. In 1982 Langston was called in to examine a number of "frozen" patients, young men and women in the San Francisco Bay Area who suddenly could neither move or speak, though conscious. Langston recognized the signs of Parkinson's disease, and determined that these patients had all used the same batch of tainted heroin. Langston prescribed L-dopa, a treatment for Parkinson's which only provided short-term relief.
Gary Giddins, jazz critic for The Village Voice and author of the books Celebrating Bird: the Triumph of Charlie Parker, and Rhythm-a-ning: Jazz Tradition and Innovation in the 80s. He is the founder of the American Jazz Orchestra, which performs important and neglected jazz works of the past.