Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own Author James Forman, Jr.
ISBN-10 9780374712907
Year 2017-04-18
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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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. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. 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 consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. 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.

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own Author James Forman, Jr.
ISBN-10 9780374189976
Year 2017-04-18
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher
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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.

Locked In

Locked In Author John Pfaff
ISBN-10 9780465096923
Year 2017-02-07
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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"Pfaff, let there be no doubt, is a reformer...Nonetheless, he believes that the standard story--popularized in particular by Michelle Alexander, in her influential book, The New Jim Crow--is false. We are desperately in need of reform, he insists, but we must reform the right things, and address the true problem."--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reform In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point? Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place. An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow Author Michelle Alexander
ISBN-10 9781595588197
Year 2012-01-16
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher The New Press
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The New Jim Crow was initially published with a modest first printing and reasonable expectations for a hard-hitting book on a tough topic. Now, ten-plus printings later, the long-awaited paperback version of the book Lani Guinier calls “brave and bold,” and Pulitzer Prize–winner David Levering Lewis calls “stunning,” will at last be available. In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. Featured on The Tavis Smiley Show, Bill Moyers Journal, Democracy Now, and C-Span’s Washington Journal, The New Jim Crow has become an overnight phenomenon, sparking a much-needed conversation—including a recent mention by Cornel West on Real Time with Bill Maher&mdas;about ways in which our system of mass incarceration has come to resemble systems of racial control from a different era.

A Colony in a Nation

A Colony in a Nation Author Chris Hayes
ISBN-10 9780393254235
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a Colony and a Nation. America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure—wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation—reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis. Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution? A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to make dangerous and unfortunate choices, both in our society and at the personal level. With great empathy, he seeks to understand the challenges of policing communities haunted by the omnipresent threat of guns. Most important, he shows that a more democratic and sympathetic justice system already exists—in a place we least suspect. A Colony in a Nation is an essential book—searing and insightful—that will reframe our thinking about law and order in the years to come.

Black Silent Majority

Black Silent Majority Author Michael Javen Fortner
ISBN-10 9780674743991
Year 2015-09-07
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Harvard University Press
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Aggressive policing and draconian sentencing have disproportionately imprisoned millions of African Americans for drug-related offenses. Michael Javen Fortner shows that in the 1970s these punitive policies toward addicts and pushers enjoyed the support of many working-class and middle-class blacks, angry about the chaos in their own neighborhoods.

When Police Kill

When Police Kill Author Franklin E. Zimring
ISBN-10 9780674972186
Year 2017-02-20
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Harvard University Press
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Franklin Zimring compiles data from federal records, crowdsourced research, and investigative journalism to provide a comprehensive, fact-based picture of how, when, where, and why police use deadly force. He offers prescriptions for how federal, state, and local governments could reduce killings at minimum cost without risking officers’ lives.

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime Author Elizabeth Hinton
ISBN-10 9780674737235
Year 2016-05-09
Pages 459
Language en
Publisher Harvard University Press
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How did the land of the free become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: not the War on Drugs of the Reagan administration but the War on Crime that began during Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era.

Race Incarceration and American Values

Race  Incarceration  and American Values Author Glenn C. Loury
ISBN-10 9780262260947
Year 2008-08-22
Pages 96
Language en
Publisher MIT Press
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The United States, home to five percent of the world's population, now houses twenty-five percent of the world's prison inmates. Our incarceration rate -- at 714 per 100,000 residents and rising -- is almost forty percent greater than our nearest competitors (the Bahamas, Belarus, and Russia). More pointedly, it is 6.2 times the Canadian rate and 12.3 times the rate in Japan. Economist Glenn Loury argues that this extraordinary mass incarceration is not a response to rising crime rates or a proud success of social policy. Instead, it is the product of a generation-old collective decision to become a more punitive society. He connects this policy to our history of racial oppression, showing that the punitive turn in American politics and culture emerged in the post-civil rights years and has today become the main vehicle for the reproduction of racial hierarchies. Whatever the explanation, Loury argues, the uncontroversial fact is that changes in our criminal justice system since the 1970s have created a nether class of Americans -- vastly disproportionately black and brown -- with severely restricted rights and life chances. Moreover, conservatives and liberals agree that the growth in our prison population has long passed the point of diminishing returns. Stigmatizing and confining of a large segment of our population should be unacceptable to Americans. Loury's call to action makes all of us now responsible for ensuring that the policy changes.

Policing the Black Man

Policing the Black Man Author Angela J. Davis
ISBN-10 9781101871287
Year 2017-07-11
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Pantheon
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A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The contributors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court’s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. Policing the Black Man is an enlightening must-read for anyone interested in the critical issues of race and justice in America.

The New Criminal Justice Thinking

The New Criminal Justice Thinking Author Sharon Dolovich
ISBN-10 9781479831548
Year 2017-03-28
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher NYU Press
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A vital collection for reforming criminal justice. After five decades of punitive expansion, the entire U.S. criminal justice system— mass incarceration, the War on Drugs, police practices, the treatment of juveniles and the mentally ill, glaring racial disparity, the death penalty and more — faces challenging questions. What exactly is criminal justice? How much of it is a system of law and how much is a collection of situational social practices? What roles do the Constitution and the Supreme Court play? How do race and gender shape outcomes? How does change happen, and what changes or adaptations should be pursued? The New Criminal Justice Thinking addresses the challenges of this historic moment by asking essential theoretical and practical questions about how the criminal system operates. In this thorough and thoughtful volume, scholars from across the disciplines of legal theory, sociology, criminology, Critical Race Theory, and organizational theory offer crucial insights into how the criminal system works in both theory and practice. By engaging both classic issues and new understandings, this volume offers a comprehensive framework for thinking about the modern justice system. For those interested in criminal law and justice, The New Criminal Justice Thinking offers a profound discussion of the complexities of our deeply flawed criminal justice system, complexities that neither legal theory nor social science can answer alone.

Punishment and Social Structure

Punishment and Social Structure Author Georg Rusche
ISBN-10 1412832527
Year 2003-01-01
Pages 268
Language en
Publisher Transaction Publishers
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Why are certain methods of punishment adopted or rejected in a given social situation? To what extent is the development of penal methods determined by basic social relations? The answers to these questions are complex, and go well beyond the thesis that institutionalized punishment is simply for the protection of society. While today's punishment of offenders often incorporates aspects of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology, at one time there was a more pronounced difference in criminal punishment based on class and economics. Punishment and Social Structure originated from an article written by Georg Rusche in 1933 entitled "Labor Market and Penal Sanction: Thoughts on the Sociology of Criminal Justice." Originally published in Germany by the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research, this article became the germ of a theory of criminology that laid the groundwork for all subsequent research in this area. Rusche and Kirchheimer look at crime from an historical perspective, and correlate methods of punishment with both temporal cultural values and economic conditions. The authors classify the history of crime into three primary eras: the early Middle Ages, in which penance and fines were the predominant modes of punishment; the later Middle Ages, in which harsh corporal punishment and capital punishment moved to the forefront; and the seventeenth century, in which the prison system was more fully developed. They also discuss more recent forms of penal practice, most notably under the constraints of a fascist state. The majority of the book was translated from German into English, and then reshaped by Rusche's co-author, Otto Kirchheimer, with whom Rusche actually had little discussion. While the main body of Punishment and Social Structure are Rusche's ideas, Kirchheimer was responsible for bringing the book more up-to-date to include the Nazi and fascist era. Punishment and Social Structure is a pioneering work that sets a paradigm for the study of crime and punishment.

Chokehold

Chokehold Author Paul Butler
ISBN-10 9781620970348
Year 2017-07-11
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher The New Press
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“Butler has hit his stride. This is a meditation, a sonnet, a legal brief, a poetry slam and a dissertation that represents the full bloom of his early thesis: The justice system does not work for blacks, particularly black men.” —Washington Post “The most readable and provocative account of the consequences of the war on drugs since Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow . . . .” —The New York Times Book Review Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it’s supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread—all with the support of judges and politicians. In his no-holds-barred style, Butler, whose scholarship has been featured on 60 Minutes, uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. For example, a white woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a white male acquaintance than be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black man. Butler also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer—without relying as much on police. Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler’s controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it’s better for a black man to plead guilty—even if he’s innocent—are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

Ghettoside

Ghettoside Author Jill Leovy
ISBN-10 9780385530002
Year 2015-01-27
Pages 384
Language en
Publisher Spiegel & Grau
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, USA TODAY, AND CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift. Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped. Praise for Ghettoside “A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times “Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”—Los Angeles Times “Moving and engrossing.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”—USA Today “Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”—The Boston Globe “Gritty, heart-wrenching . . . Everyone needs to read this book.”—Michael Connelly “Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal “[Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book. . . . The most important book about urban violence in a generation.”—The Washington Post “Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important.”—Associated Press “Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ ”—The New York Times Book Review “A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian From the Hardcover edition.