• Locking Up Our Own

  • Crime and Punishment in Black America
  • By: James Forman Jr.
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (561 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Locking Up Our Own  By  cover art

Locking Up Our Own

By: James Forman Jr.
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $17.19

Buy for $17.19

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Nonfiction, 2018

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, DC, 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. 

©2017 James Forman, Jr. (P)2017 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History