Please join us on Friday, June 15th, 9 am, when Yale Law School Professor James Forman, Jr., Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his book “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” will be our guest on Criminal Justice Insider with Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant – The Voice of CT Criminal Justice. Live on WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven and live-streaming at newhavenindependent.org. Rebroadcast at 5 pm. Sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven – Now More Than Ever, and Family ReEntry – Serving the Connecticut Justice Community Since 1984.
James Forman, Jr. graduated from Roosevelt High School in Atlanta, Brown University, and Yale Law School. He worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented juveniles and adults in felony and misdemeanor cases.
Professor Forman loved being a public defender, but he quickly became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. So in 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. A decade later, in 2007, Maya Angelou School expanded and agreed to run the school inside D.C.’s juvenile prison. That school, which had long been an abysmal failure, has been transformed under the leadership of the Maya Angelou staff; the court monitor overseeing D.C.’s juvenile system called the turnaround “extraordinary.”
At Yale Law School, Forman teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, a seminar called Race, Class, and Punishment, and a clinic in which he and his students represent students facing school suspension and expulsion. He also takes his teaching behind prison walls, offering a seminar called Inside-Out Prison Exchange: Issues in Criminal Justice. This course brings together, in the same classroom, 10 Yale Law students and 10 men incarcerated in a CT prison.
Professor Forman writes about schools, prisons, and police, and those institutions’ race and class dimensions. He has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, and numerous law reviews. His first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, was on many top 10 lists, including the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017, and was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction.
Professor Forman lives in New Haven with his wife Ify, a nurse practitioner and yoga instructor, and their 9-year old son Emeka, who loves sports, travel, and disagreeing with his parents.