Locking up Our Own

Locking up Our Own

Crime and Punishment in Black America

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"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.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780374189976 hardcover
0374189978 hardcover
electronic book
Branch Call Number: 364.973089 FOR
Characteristics: 306 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

General Nonfiction: An examination of the historical roots of contemporary criminal justice in the U.S., based on vast experience and deep knowledge of the legal system, and its often-devastating consequences for citizens and communities of color.

Forman offers a nuanced, candid look at the role of elected Black officials, Black police officers, and others in positions of power in shaping the policies that lead the US's astonishing incarceration rate, especially of young Black men.

Forman offers a nuanced, candid look at the role of elected Black officials, Black police officers, and others in positions of power in shaping the policies that lead the US's astonishing incarceration rate, especially of young Black men.

Longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction.


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KellyLatimer
Mar 18, 2019

Very worthwhile reading. The book is well written and thoroughly researched. A sadly fascinating and enlightening journey through a few chapters of the American criminal justice system and it's impact on the black community in the US.

c
cundulee
Nov 26, 2018

Thought provoking. Does not drift to easy assumptions or throw up pre-ordained causes. Very factual in content and purpose.

m
mclarjh
May 28, 2018

Tedious ordinary history explains the legitimate origin of carding; narrow focus on Washington DC; for Black American readers.

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