May 17, 2018

Locking Up Our Own

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 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, black officials believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods.

James Forman, Jr. represented juveniles as a public defender in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is a professor at Yale Law School. This event was presented by the Brennan Center and the NYU Brademas Center, and hosted by NYU Washington, DC

The Brennan Center's Senior Fellow, Theodore Johnson, joined James Forman, Jr. for the discussion which was moderated by CNN's Senior Political Reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson.

James Forman

James Forman, Jr.

Nia Malika Henderson (Moderator)

Nia-Malika Henderson

Theodore Johnson

Theodore Johnson

Locking Up Our Own

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 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why.