In "Locking Up Our Own,"  James Forman Jr. explores the roots of mass incarceration.

In "Locking Up Our Own," James Forman Jr. explores the roots of mass incarceration.

The District of Columbia incarcerates 1,196 people for every 100,000 residents ––a rate higher than any other state, or for that matter, country. The high rate of incarceration disproportionately affects black Washingtonians. Around 90 percent of inmates in D.C.’s jails are African American, compared to 50 percent of the city’s total population. In his new book, former D.C. public defender James Forman Jr. argues that in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, the tough-on-crime policies of local black leaders, including former Mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, may be to blame. Kojo sits down with the author to discuss crime and punishment in black D.C. and America.


  • James Forman Jr. Author, "Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America"; Professor of Law, Yale Law School; @jformanjr

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