Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black America / James Forman Jr.

By: Forman, James, 1967- [author.].
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017Copyright date: ©2017Edition: First edition.Description: 306 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780374189976; 0374189978.Subject(s): Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States | Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- United States | Life and death, Power over | African American judges | African American politicians | African American police | Social justice -- United StatesDDC classification: 364.973089/96073 Other classification: SOC001000 | SOC004000 | POL014000
Contents:
Introduction -- Part I. Origins. Gateway to the war on drugs : marijuana, 1975 -- Black lives matter : gun control, 1975 -- Representatives of their race : the rise of African American police, 1948-78 -- Part II. Consequences. "Locking up thugs is not vindictive" : sentencing, 1981-82 -- "The worst thing to hit us since slavery" : crack and the advent of warrior policing, 1988-92 -- What would Martin Luther King, Jr., say? : stop and search, 1995 -- Epilogue : the reach of our mercy, 2014-16.
Summary: "An original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law today, Americans are debating our criminal justice system with new urgency. Mass incarceration and aggressive police tactics--and their impact on people of color--are feeding outrage and a consensus that something must be done. But what if we only know half the story? In Locking Up Our Own, the Yale legal scholar and former public defender James Forman Jr. weighs the tragic role that some African Americans themselves played in escalating the war on crime. As Forman shows, the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office around the country amid a surge in crime. Many came to believe that tough measures--such as stringent drug and gun laws and "pretext traffic stops" in poor African American neighborhoods--were needed to secure a stable future for black communities. Some politicians and activists saw criminals as a "cancer" that had to be cut away from the rest of black America. Others supported harsh measures more reluctantly, believing they had no other choice in the face of a public safety emergency. Drawing on his experience as a public defender and focusing on Washington, D.C., Forman writes with compassion for individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas--from the young men and women he defended to officials struggling to cope with an impossible situation. The result is an original view of our justice system as well as a moving portrait of the human beings caught in its coils."-- Provided by publisher.Summary: "Recounts the tragic role that some African Americans--as judges, prosecutors, politicians, police officers, and voters--played in escalating the war on crime"-- Provided by publisher.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window Awards: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV9950 .F655 2017 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002302313
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV9950 .F655 2017 (Browse shelf) 2 Available 0000002346559

Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-286) and index.

Introduction -- Part I. Origins. Gateway to the war on drugs : marijuana, 1975 -- Black lives matter : gun control, 1975 -- Representatives of their race : the rise of African American police, 1948-78 -- Part II. Consequences. "Locking up thugs is not vindictive" : sentencing, 1981-82 -- "The worst thing to hit us since slavery" : crack and the advent of warrior policing, 1988-92 -- What would Martin Luther King, Jr., say? : stop and search, 1995 -- Epilogue : the reach of our mercy, 2014-16.

"An original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law today, Americans are debating our criminal justice system with new urgency. Mass incarceration and aggressive police tactics--and their impact on people of color--are feeding outrage and a consensus that something must be done. But what if we only know half the story? In Locking Up Our Own, the Yale legal scholar and former public defender James Forman Jr. weighs the tragic role that some African Americans themselves played in escalating the war on crime. As Forman shows, the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office around the country amid a surge in crime. Many came to believe that tough measures--such as stringent drug and gun laws and "pretext traffic stops" in poor African American neighborhoods--were needed to secure a stable future for black communities. Some politicians and activists saw criminals as a "cancer" that had to be cut away from the rest of black America. Others supported harsh measures more reluctantly, believing they had no other choice in the face of a public safety emergency. Drawing on his experience as a public defender and focusing on Washington, D.C., Forman writes with compassion for individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas--from the young men and women he defended to officials struggling to cope with an impossible situation. The result is an original view of our justice system as well as a moving portrait of the human beings caught in its coils."-- Provided by publisher.

"Recounts the tragic role that some African Americans--as judges, prosecutors, politicians, police officers, and voters--played in escalating the war on crime"-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Washington, DC, public defender-turned- Yale University clinical law professor Forman traces the growth of the carceral state that now holds behind bars about one in every four adult black males. Taking a different turn from much of the literature on the topic, the author focuses on black-on-black attitudes and actions as he recollects his Washington experience. He argues that beginning in the 1970s, with a rising generation of unprecedented black political power, elected black leaders and their constituents significantly shaped U.S. criminal justice policy, invariably supporting tough on crime measures as fearful black communities sought self-protection. The result in Washington was that a majority black jurisdiction ended up incarcerating many of its own, Forman concludes. VERDICT Forman's series of brief essays deserve reading by policy-makers and practitioners in the criminal justice system, as well as by general readers. His attention to the range of black responses to crime and punishment adds to our understanding of the prison system, while not discounting the enduring role of discrimination. [See Prepub Alert, 10/10/16.]-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

James Forman Jr. was born on June 22, 1967. He graduated from Brown University and Yale Law School. He was a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court. Afterward, Forman worked for six years at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. <p> In 1997, he and David Domenici started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for school dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. Forman taught at Georgetown Law from 2003 to 2011 and then joined the Yale Law School faculty. His first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, received the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2018. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.