Professor James Forman Jr. Speaks on Mass Incarceration

On November 3, James Forman Jr., Professor of Law at the Yale Law School, visited the Law School to meet with students and talk about his new book, “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”

After clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, Forman worked for six years as a public defender with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. Frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients, he cofounded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for school dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested.

Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy. His particular interests are schools, prisons, and police, and those institutions’ race and class dimensions. “Locking Up Our Own,” his first book, seeks to understand why the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers.

Forman’s talk was presented by the Capital Punishment Center, and co-sponsored by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.