HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in…
Loading...

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

by James Forman Jr.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
192794,031 (4.43)25

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I listened to this book on audio after hearing a compelling interview with the author. For me the importance of this book was the historical review of crime and punishment and its impact on the black community since the 1970’s. Forman devotes chapters to each new idea to solve the crime problems in Washington DC (and around the country as well). His focus on DC helps keep the narrative crisp forming a continuing trajectory through the book. We keep getting it wrong. I remember so many of the theories that were put forth, tried and failed. The Epilogue was one of the best parts of the book but Forman’s ideas are only as good as today. Time will tell whether this time we are getting closer to a fair and just solution for our high incarceration rate. ( )
1 vote beebeereads | Apr 2, 2019 |
How does a majority-black district in the US, with many in positions of power, end up locking up so many of its own? In this concise yet comprehensive book, James Forman Jr thoughtfully and convincingly backs up his hypothesis with both his own experience as a public defender and extensive historical, socio-political research. He manages the impressive task of presenting the statistical data of his research alongside more personal stories of his PD experiences, humanising the individuals caught up in this unfair, overly-punitive system while capturing the enormity of the issue.

We are shown how the vast racist punitive system that the US has come to be known for was not built in one day. How harsher and harsher punishments were introduced gradually in response to the crisis of the moment, until now where despite comprising only about five percent of the world's population, the US holds about a quarter of the world's prison population. How racism and classism reinforced and reinforces a systemic (self-)policing amongst the (black) people in power such that black people end up occupying the prisons at a much higher rate disproportional to their white counterparts.

An eye-opening book on the origin of how these discriminatory systems came to be, the consequences (either unforeseen at the time or deemed unimportant in the face of a greater perceived evil), and how these systems could eventually be dismantled even by those not affiliated with law enforcement.

Further readings/viewings as recommended by James Forman Jr. available here. ( )
  kitzyl | Jan 23, 2019 |
This is a thought provoking book about why there is such a high percentage of Blacks in various penal institutions across our country. What is interesting here is that Forman sees the decisions and impetus for this coming from the black populous - driving this phenomena. A majority favored stricter marijuana laws, mandatory sentences and police stopping drivers for minor infractions to search for guns (Eric Holder) but then arresting them for other crimes. Also, he argues black citizens were against gun laws because they feared white society and home invasions. Justly deserves all its plaudits. ( )
  muddyboy | Jun 18, 2018 |
Locking Up Our Own by James Forman Jr. After reading this book and Evicted last year, I'm determined to read more Pulitzer winning non-fiction. This book looks at how our high levels of incarceration got to where they are, specifically in the African American community and how 3-4 decades ago African Americans were often the loudest voice regarding tough on crime and minimum sentences. Forman's main thread through the book is how the complex long-term solutions got left behind (better schools, fighting systemic racism, job training etc) while fighting drugs and violent crime got all the resources both on the local level and national. He puts the decisions in the 70s-90s in historical perspective and shows how the shift has happened over time when communities realized the unforeseen repercussions of their policies. ( )
  strandbooks | May 31, 2018 |
Nuanced and complex take on the intersection of race and crime and law in twentieth-century America. Thought-provoking and challenging no matter where you are on the political spectrum. This should be a must-read for everyone. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
It is difficult to criticise a bible, particularly one written with as much insight, rhetorical power and moral authority as The New Jim Crow. When James Forman, a law professor at Yale and the son of a prominent civil rights activist, first presented his criticisms of Alexander’s argument, colleagues nervously asked him why he was ‘critiquing a point of view that is so aligned with your own’. He agreed with Alexander that mass incarceration had turned convicted criminals into members of a stigmatised caste, condemned to second-class citizenship. He also agreed that one of the most destructive effects of mass incarceration was to lead the wider society to see poor black men as potential threats, social outcasts whose rights could be violated with impunity. But he believed that Alexander’s thesis obscured ‘some important truths’. [...] Locking Up Our Own is a sobering chronicle of how black people, in the hope of saving their communities, contributed to the rise of a system that has undone much of the progress of the civil rights era. But, as Forman knows, they could not have built it by themselves, and they are even less likely to be able to abolish it without influential white allies, and dramatic reforms in the structure of American society.
 
In the conservative backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement, deflection to “black on black” crime has become a meme. Why, op-eds and pundits sputter, does the black community get so riled about police violence and yet remain silent about the gun and drug crime that savages so many of its own?

James Forman Jr, son of civil rights leader James Forman Sr, knew from his time as a public defender in Washington DC that such broadsides are patently wrong. In his new book, Locking Up Our Own, he goes beyond the broader argument – that it’s reasonable to expect more from sworn law enforcement than from street criminals – to make clear that the charge is simply wrong on face value too.

“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,” Forman told the Guardian. “If there’s one thing that I hope the book does, it’s demolish that lie.”
 
James Forman Jr. divides his superb and shattering first book, “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” into two parts: “Origins” and “Consequences.” But the temptation is to scribble in, before “Consequences,” a modifier: “Unforeseen.” That is truly what this book is about, and what makes it tragic to the bone: How people, acting with the finest of intentions and the largest of hearts, could create a problem even more grievous than the one they were trying to solve.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Ify and Emeka,
the loves of my life
First words
All of us in the public defender's office feared the Martin Luther King speech.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374189978, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 03 Nov 2016 13:47:28 -0400)

"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. "--"Recounts the tragic role that some African Americans--as judges, prosecutors, politicians, police officers, and voters--played in escalating the war on crime"--… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.43)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5 4
4 4
4.5 2
5 12

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,089,680 books! | Top bar: Always visible