Professor James Forman Jr. on "Locking Up Our Own: Race, Class, and the Politics of Mass Incarceration"November 20, 2018 Civil Rights & Antidiscrimination Race & Law Criminal Law Juveniles
When James Forman Jr., a former Georgetown Law and current Yale Law faculty member, was working as a public defender in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s, he represented a 15-year-old client named Brandon who had pled guilty to gun and marijuana possession. Forman was requesting probation; the prosecutor wanted Brandon sent to Oak Hill, D.C.’s now-notorious juvenile facility. The judge chose Oak Hill — to Forman’s fury. The same racial injustice that motivated him to become a public defender, he realized, was being used to lock his client away.