James Forman, Jr. is a law professor at Yale Law School and previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. His father was an important figure in the civil rights movement. In his new book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, Forman addresses the problem that many in government and law enforcement see drug addiction as a criminal justice problem and not a mental health issue. So they lock up addicts when they should be providing treatment. Forman says that the early drug decriminalization movement in the 1970s was opposed, in part, by members of the black clergy who thought marijuana use would lead to harder drugs. And Forman tells Robert Scheer that a deeper discussion of slavery by all races is a necessary step toward improving the incarceration crisis.
Jr., James Forman