Locking Up Our Own MOBI ä Locking Up PDF/EPUB ²

Locking Up Our Own MOBI ä Locking Up PDF/EPUB ²


  • Hardcover
  • 306 pages
  • Locking Up Our Own
  • James Forman Jr.
  • English
  • 13 October 2016
  • 9780374189976

10 thoughts on “Locking Up Our Own

  1. jv poore jv poore says:

    Inundated with information in the best possible way I feel like I took an entire class rather than simply reading one book


  2. Mehrsa Mehrsa says:

    This is a really important book that complicates the dominant narrative on crime espoused in books like the new jim crow and others It adds nuance and it shows how the black community participated in raising the stakes for crimes Forman is a public defender in DC and son of the SNCC Forman He knows what he's talking about his history is fascinating and the stories are heartbreaking Even if you think you know everything about this issue don't skip this one


  3. Benjamin Lettuce Treuhaft Benjamin Lettuce Treuhaft says:

    A book about policy yes BUT at the end it makes you cry


  4. Max Max says:

    Forman looks at the story behind the laws and practices that resulted in America’s mass incarceration of African Americans He focuses on black led city governments police and activist organizations which were responding to the rapid rise in street drugs and accompanying violence beginning in the late 1960s Black leaders supported the harsh sentences and invasive searches that were implemented from the 1970s to the 1990s Although white led jurisdictions and the federal government were also adopting draconian sentencing practices black leaders gained control of America’s largest cities having a particularly significant impact 90% of people in prison in the US are in state or local prisons At the time these laws were seen as a way to stop violent crime not fill prisons an unintended conseuenceForman was a public defender in Washington DC in the 1990s He concentrates on DC which had acuired Home Rule in the 1970s with a black mayor majority black city council majority black population and a very influential group of black church leaders He also refers to the black mayors of Atlanta and Detroit and leaders of black civil rights groups to show the consensus of opinion of black leadership Forman describes the eruption of drug abuse in the 1960s Heroin addiction soared in the late sixties Marijuana was seen by many as a gateway drug The black response had historical roots Many blacks saw the drug epidemic as being driven by whites to weaken the black community to destroy black youth In DC some blacks and most whites wanted to make marijuana possession punishable by a ticket and fine eliminating the stigma of arrest and jail for offenders But they lost out to black leaders who wanted to stop drug abuse in its tracks by maintaining stiff penalties for marijuana and other drugsGun possession met with similar logic In 1976 Washington DC banned the possession of guns a popular decision with both black and white residents Crime was out of control and residents were scared However penalties were light to keep Congress from interfering and guns were always readily available outside the city Similar measures were proposed in other black led cities With a history of violence by white vigilantes against blacks many saw gun possession as an essential protection But in the sixties and seventies urban violence against blacks was primarily committed by blacks Gun prohibitions turned out to be ineffective and were followed by increased maximum and mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with guns Increasingly blacks predominately the poor would be incarcerated for far longer termsForman gives us a short history of the rise of black police In Atlanta in 1946 a city with a large black population there were no black police officers As the civil rights movement pushed forward following WWII blacks were increasingly able to become police officers in many large cities It began slowly and with many restrictions on black officers but by the 1970s there were black police captains and even chiefs Black civil rights leaders thought black leadership of the police would stop the problem of police brutality toward black offenders and help bring peace to black communities suffering from crime It didn’t work that way Most black police officers were there for a job not civil rights advocacy They didn’t see black people as needing special breaks and often were harsher than white police They saw simple crimes like public drunkenness and disorderly conduct as a reflection on the black race whereas a white officer might see it as expected behavior and ignore it in a poor black communityIn 1982 D C passed initiative 9 which detailed increased maximums and mandatory minimums for drug offenses The initiative carried by a wide majority of blacks and whites Most black city leaders including black police were firmly behind the initiative Crime was rampant but prison not treatment was seen by the local community as the answer Forman points out that citizen complaints about drug paraphernalia littering streets and alleys always ended up at the police People did not look to expanded treatment as a solution He notes “When we ask ourselves how America became the world’s greatest jailer it is natural to focus on bright shiny objects national campaigns federal legislation executive orders from the Oval Office But we should train our eyes also on mundane decisions and directives many of which took place on the local level Which agency director did a public official enlist in response to citizen complaints about used syringes in back alleys? Such small choices made daily over time in every corner of our nation are the bricks that built our prison nation”In the late 1980s and early 1990s the crack epidemic and the related violence grew exponentially The murder rate in cities like DC soared DC instituted Operation Clean Sweep where officers raided drug market street corners throwing everyone against the wall and throwing everything in their pockets on the street Other cities adopted similar programs but these didn’t slow down the murder rate or stop drug sales Congress established ever higher mandatory minimum sentences In Forman’s words “The process was often as hurried as the outcomes were draconian Instead of holding public hearings and soliciting expert testimony n proposed legislation members of congress engaged in a bipartisan bidding war to raise the penalties ever higher” “The nation’s urban centers exercised their own power – especially when it came to policing” “And African Americansfeatured prominently in many municipal governments By 1990 for example there were 130 black police chiefs nationwide including the top cops in DC New York Philadelphia Balti Detroit Chicago and Houston There were also than 300 African American mayors including those in DC New York Los Angeles Philadelphia Detroit Balti Atlanta and Oakland The words and deeds of these black law enforcement officials and politiciansare crucial to explaining why and how the war on drugs developed as it did in American cities”In 1995 future Obama Attorney General Eric Holder became the first African American to serve as US Attorney of the District of Columbia That year he announced Operation Ceasefire This was the motor vehicle version of New York City’s stop and frisk for pedestrians implemented that same year Its goal was to find guns by stopping drivers for any one of many minor offenses including following too closely windows tinted too darkly changing lanes without a turn signal and on and on The police would then ask to search the car for weapons Over 90% of people would say yes although the police may not have always asked Just looking through the windows the police might find probable cause to search Of course most of the stops were in the poor black areas of DC The program did find guns but a lot of cars had to be stopped The biggest find was drugs and this hit blacks in the poorest communities disproportionately hard While there was good justification for not stopping cars to search for guns in upscale white neighborhoods where very few murders occurred car searches in white areas would have uncovered drugs just as in black areas Many whites as well as blacks had a small stash of marijuana in their car Even an arrest that was dismissed for a token amount of marijuana kept people from getting jobs And many would end up in jail and not be able to post bail and lose their jobs Those convicted could expect a stiff sentence The DC police department was majority black and it was primarily black officers making the stops The police avoided well off black neighborhoods where crime was lower and residents often had connections to city and police leadersDC decriminalized marijuana in 2014 Black leaders had reversed their view of two decades earlier Drug related murders had declined by 83% from 2000 The reasons are endlessly argued tough crime measures aging of the population reduction of childhood lead exposure the decline of crack and on The toll in incarceration remained In eleven states than 1 in 20 black men were in prison Also technology advances meant that arrest records were readily available to employers credit agencies and others Forman holds that a focus only on low level non violent offenders will not remedy the problem of mass incarceration Only a tiny percentage of those incarcerated are there for marijuana possession although 20% are there on drug related charges Forman points out that even if that 20% were released America would still have people in prison than any other country in the world He points out how exceedingly difficult it is to find rehabilitation programs for violent offenders in lieu of prison He details a case he handled of a minor who robbed a man at a bus stop threatening him with a knife Forman reached out to the victim to support giving the boy a another chance It was his first offence He was fifteen Forman found a uniue education program that would take the boy and teach him carpentry which he had aptitude for Such programs usually denied those charged with violent crimes Then Forman asked the victim to come to court and tell the judge he wanted to give the boy a second chance Amazingly the judge agreed and put him on probation Years later Forman ran into the defendant who was working on a construction crew He had completed the program and entered the work force If convicted and sent to prison he would have been another life lost


  5. Dan Dan says:

    This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Non Fiction recently and was penned by James Forman Jr a long time public defender in Washington DC and Yale Law School ProfessorI liked the messaging and the detail on some of the history of African Americans living in DC and the ongoing challenges going back to 1919 was uite good The section on class distinction specifically African American cops in DC and how some were the most brutal to the poorest African American suspects was well written and insightfulFew people have the first hand law experience that Forman had to even write this book However the writing was not at the level of a professional historian and on the flip side the stories because 75 years of DC were covered were not in depth or especially emotional either So the author chose a middle path 35 stars Worth a read because its thread is a uniue take on crime and punishment in DC primarily


  6. Andre Andre says:

    Using Washington DC as foundation Mr Forman Jr takes a look at how many small events conspired to land the Nation to where it sits today as the greatest jailer in the world Mass incarceration didn't just happen it built slowly but steadily and many Black politicians civic and religious leaders bear some responsibility He details with solid research how Black communities consistently called for tougher sentencing laws not just in DC but in Black communities all across the land The aim wasn't malicious but lacking foresight Black leadership was unprepared for the result of the call to get tough on crime With the advent of Black Lives Matter movement a popular refrain to the activism and outrage is Blacks don't care about so called Black on Black crimeJames Forman Jr is a former public defender and the son of prominent civil rights activist And he effectively explodes that myth in these pagesIn documenting the range of black responses to crime this book repudiates a claim sometimes made by defenders of the criminal justice system that African Americans protest police violence while ignoring violence by black criminals Not only have Black communities cared they have responded in myriad ways from corner patrols to stop the violence marches and rallies Far from ignoring the issue of crime by blacks against other blacks African American officials and their constituents have been consumed by it So how did we get here? James argues Mass incarceration is the result of small distinct steps each of whose significance becomes apparent over time and only when considered in light of later eventsAs you turn these pages the journey to mass incarceration shines through with a distinct clarity that James presents in engaging prose with abundant notes and poignant examples Well written and researched it is a book I recommend for those asking the same uestion that the author asked how did this happen?When we ask ourselves how America became the world’s greatest jailer it is natural to focus on bright shiny objects national campaigns federal legislation executive orders from the Oval Office But we should train our eyes also on mundane decisions and directives many of which took place on the local level Which agency director did a public official enlist in response to citizen complaints about used syringes in back alleys? Such small choices made daily over time in every corner of our nation are the bricks that built our prison nation And in building those bricks Black folk bear some culpability by choosing punishment over treatment where drugs are concerned as often drug use and abuse where factors in increased criminality Also the willingness to draw class distinctions led to a fracturing of communities and hence some seeing others as monsters and not people in need of help Forman doesn't shirk from some of these hard truths but maintains a semblance of balance throughout It's a solid look at the so called war on drugs and guns and the resulting experiences


  7. Adofo Minka Adofo Minka says:

    As a public defender working in the criminal punishment system in Hinds County Mississippi a county that is well over 70% black I found Professor Foreman's book to be long overdue yet timely Where many authors look at the current state of our criminal punishment system in the larger context of systematic racism Foreman's work digs deeper and gives readers an up close look at class dynamics and how they have played out in cities where black elected and appointed officials were tasked with controlling the local criminal punishment apparatus and legislative processes The history that Foreman uncovers shows that black elected and appointed officials who made political economic and social gains from the advancements of the civil rights movements many times adopted the status uo solutions to of remedying crime through punishments in many instances even when they knew that the true root causes of criminality were addiction economic ineuity and racism However instead of taking the time energy and brain power necessary to come up with root cause solutions to crime such providing mental health services drug rehabilitation leveling the economic playing field and ultimately taking the political positions that they had acuired in government and attempt to dismantle the status uo that kept so many poor black people locked inside of a vicious cycle that was marred by poverty crime and hopelessness these individual took their new found class status pushed the dominant narrative and passed harsher and punitive laws that played into the politics of fear and punishment To be fair to these politicians who added fuel and legitimacy to the call for longer and harsher punishment Foreman also points out that the community bewildered by crime drugs and violence also were calling for these elected leaders to do something about the devastation the crime drugs and violence were wreaking on their communities Looking back we can clearly see that these politicians took the road of least resistance and that was throwing poor black people away into prisons and jails who were ultimately victims of a political social and economic context that they did not create If Foreman's work does not demonstrate anything else it demonstrates that leadership must employ creativity empathy compassion and ingenuity to solve the problems of crime and violence There are no short cut solutions The history shows that the individuals in political authority who had control of the criminal punishment apparatus after being victimized by it for so long failed when they had their shot at the helm Many black politicians continue to fail the masses of poor black people in this way Even In the Age of Trumps America there are still localities throughout the United States who claim to be electing black progressive and even radical political leadership Locking Up Our Own serves as a cautionary tale to what not to do in the realm of criminal justice if we are to have any real justice on the local and state levels particularly It also shows what happens when oppressed group take control of the political apparatus without purging themselves of the social values of our oppressors Without such a purging the formerly oppressed class will be just as punitive and unforgiving as those who held control previously However instead of being on the basis of race such punishment and long term harm will be carried out on the basis of class


  8. Candice Candice says:

    One of the best books on criminal justice and the root causes of mass incarceration that I have read I especially appreciated the history of city politics and local black elected officials and law enforcement in Atlanta and DC Most of the books and studies on mass incarceration focus on everything and everyone but the role that our own community and leaders played while doing their best to save the community from rampant crime Incredibly eye opening and captivating read and very accessible even for those with little background knowledge or exposure to these issues Highly recommend to anyone interested in criminal justice reform


  9. Andy Andy says:

    This is a very important accompaniment for The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Especially in the current climate 2020 of people trying to understand how to stop incidents like the George Floyd killing when one of the four policemen was black The mass incarceration system is not a simple story that can be explained entirely by white supremacy Its establishment was according to this book enthusiastically demanded by black leaders We need to rethink our entire approach to crime prevention poverty reduction addiction prevention education etc So many of our policies seem to be driven by fear not by a reasoned approach to doing what actually works to solve the problem


  10. Becky Becky says:

    I finished this book 2 weeks ago but I have put off reviewing it because well I guess because there was SO MUCH information in this book that reviewing it was a little daunting I don't know how to write this review On the surface this is a book about mass incarceration and how black people are imprisoned at much higher rates but this is called Locking Up Our Own not Locking Them Up so this book looks at the reasons and ways that black people have affected policies that increase the black prison population And MAN was it interesting I mean let's think about things from the modern perspective with excessively long mandatory minimum sentences for non violent drug offenses stop and frisk laws school to prison pipelines racial profiling in traffic stops huge police presences in neighborhood primarily composed of people of color on and on You would think Black people don't want this And you wouldn't be wrong because a lot of people not just black do not want this But there is still and used to be even a strong opinion that harsh punitive actions were necessary among the black community to make it safe This was a time when heroin was rampant crack wasn't even a thing yet and coming out of the 60s Civil Rights era black people wanted guns than ever before to ensure their safety amongst a community that DID NOT WANT THEM TO BE PART OF IT and had the arms to enforce it These issues were HUGELY divisive and in the end conservatism and punishment won out over treatment and social service policies But it didn't happen all at once This book shows if nothing else how good intentioned for the greater good policies can stack up over time and create a monster that is almost impossible to kill It's political suicide NOT to claim to be Tough On Crimetm And yet we've had these policies in place for 40 years and haven't seen a reduction in crime or drug use just a massive increase in the number of people mostly black people locked up Prison isn't a deterrent And it is not any real form of rehabilitation It's not a means for someone to pay for a crime and then re enter society after their term is up because the stain on their record even from arrests that do not result in charges can follow them for a lifetime ruining job prospects housing options social safetry nets etc And when there's no options for someone to make a living legally after they have served their time what other option is there but to turn to illegal methods? This is not justice This is disenfranchisement from society and the ability to live one's life after having made a mistake of committing a crime It's only with hindsight that we're able to see that these policies are incredibly harmful They are cyclical and unending and DO NOT WORK Well unless you run a for profit prison and then they work beautifullyThe communities that voted for these policies didn't want to rip families apart and take people from their homes and lock them away forever they just wanted the drugs out of their neighborhoods They didn't want to lock up young men for 30 years for having a gun to protect themselves but they wanted the violence to stop They didn't want THIS they just wanted to be safe And they didn't know how else to accomplish it By they I am referring to both elected officials AND community members who voted for these policies There were opposing arguments proposing social reforms like rehab facilities free methadone decriminalization of marijuana etc etc etc but the option seen as the uicker GET IT DONE method was punitive action and that's what people opted for to see results NOW and each little decision stacked on top of others and this is where we end up This book opened with an anecdote about Forman sitting with a teenage defendant waiting for a judge to make a determination as to whether to give him probation for possessing a weapon or send him to the juvenile jail The kid had plead guilty and said that he had only had the gun for protection because he lived in a dangerous area He had no prior arrests no record was an average student etc A normal kid who just happened to feel like he needed a gun in his neighborhood to feel safe This all takes place in DC by the way The judge a black man everyone in the court was black judge lawyers defendants families everyone decided to send him to Juvie for 6 months because the defendant as a young black man who got caught up in the dangerous area he lived in through no fault of his own though admittedly DID have a gun through his own actions was essentially throwing the legacy that Dr Martin Luther King fought and died for back in his face This has stayed with me as it stayed with Forman because it's MASSIVELY unfair These days the system is stacked against kids They can't control where they live the actions of their peers the danger of walking to from school the social expectation and potential protection of gangs etc To expect anyone to rise above that based on willpower alone is unrealistic and doomed to fail Will there be some who do? Absolutely But for the majority no This is the life they know and the life they have You can't expect someone to scale a 30 foot wall unless you maybe give them a leg up So this judge sending him to Juvie is in fact throwing another 10 or 15 feet up on top of that already high wall This kid will now miss 6 months of school putting him far behind He will have this on his record though potentially it will be expunged at 18 He will live for 6 months with kids who also have hard lives few options and see the dangers and lack of opportunities in their neighborhoods as the only future they have because that's their normal But probably worst of all is that this kid will see that even taking responsibility and admitting his mistake will not help him he will always be judged based on his failure to live up to an ideal that NOBODY lives up to and the system will fail him in turn Likely again and again and again It's heartbreaking We need criminal social justice reform I understand how we could have gotten here but we now have the benefit of hindsight and data showing that punitive policy isn't effective Let's do better


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Locking Up Our Own[Reading] ➿ Locking Up Our Own ➶ James Forman Jr. – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk In recent years America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration emphasizing its disproportionate impact In recent years America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color As James Forman Jr points out however the war on crime that began in the s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers In Locking Up Our Own he seeks to understand whyForman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors judges and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime Locking Up PDF/EPUB ² and drug addiction Many prominent black officials including Washington DC mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough on crime measures including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open air drug markets they believed they had no choice But the policies they adopted would have devastating conseuences for residents of poor black neighborhoodsA former DC public defender Forman tells riveting stories of politicians community activists police officers defendants and crime victims He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.


About the Author: James Forman Jr.

James Forman Jr is one of the nation’s leading authorities on race education and the criminal justice system and a tireless advocate for young people who others have written offForman attended Yale Law School and after he graduated worked as a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the US Supreme Court After clerking he.