Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

The author, now a Yale Law School professor, was once a public defender in Washington, D.C., and shares many personal stories and observations of the unforeseen consequences of extremely harsh and mandatory sentences given out for relatively minor infractions of the law. He explains that in the years of rising violent crime rates and the proliferation of guns and drugs in primarily black communities, residents demanded changes in the policies regarding policing and sentencing for their own personal safety and that of their families.  Forman discusses how newly elected and appointed black officials became caught up in a conundrum unleashed when enactment of new aggressive criminal justice policies started a disturbing trend which resulted in 25% of young black males being behind bars today. Forman's fair and insightful discussion provides new information and perspective on this seemingly intractable problem and the continuing discussion surrounding it. 

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black AmericaBy Forman, James, 1967- author.

“I think of it as a 239-page rebuttal to the claim that black people and their elected leaders only care about crime when it’s [committed by] the police,”... “If there’s one thing that I hope the book does, it’s demolish that lie.” -James Forman, Jr., in an interview with The Guardian, April 29, 2017

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