Coming Soon

Chained to the System

The History and Politics of Black Incarceration in America (Trade Edition)
Arthur H. Garrison
Email Me When Ready

This title is currently in production. Click the Email Me When Ready button to be notified as soon as it's available for purchase.

For pricing and adoption availability, contact

Bookstore Managers: contact to place an order

It is a truism that whites are more likely to perceive American criminal justice as just and fair, while blacks are more likely to view the system with distrust and belief it is biased against them. The difference is in the divergent historical and contemporary life experiences of both groups.

Chained to the System: The History and Politics of Black Incarceration in America explores the experience of blacks under American law beginning with the linking of black skin to the institution of slavery, prohibiting the applicability of slave status to whites, and the passage of slave laws that defined protection of legal rights by skin color. Subsequent policies include the development of policing through the use of slave patrols pre-Civil War, the origin of disproportionate black incarceration through the imposition of criminal surety and other involuntary servitude laws post-Civil War, and the “get tough on crime” laws and political rhetoric of presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton.

Presenting these historical events in the context of contemporary discourse on black incarceration and police use of force, Chained to the System provides an unflinching look at American criminal justice and its relationship with blacks.

Arthur H. Garrison is an associate professor of criminal justice at Kutztown University, specializing in criminal justice history, race and policing, constitutional law, legal history, and criminal justice policy making. He received his doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University.
Other Cognella titles by Arthur H. Garrison:

Formats and Bulk Order Pricing for Confirmed Adoptions

Publisher Direct Versions — Available through the Cognella Student Store for confirmed adoptions

Best Value!
Publisher Direct Ebook Publisher Direct ebooks are available in your Cognella account immediately after purchase and provide access for 180 days. Our ebooks run on RedShelf, VitalSource, or in some cases, must be accessed via Adobe Digital Editions, a free software program.
Ships Free!
Publisher Direct Paperback These special, discounted paperback editions are sold exclusively through the Cognella Student Store ( for confirmed adoptions. They are not available through other retailers. The books are printed on demand, do not have an ISBN, and are not intended for resale, which results in savings we pass along to students. Most Publisher Direct Paperbacks also come with free, immediate access to the first 30% of the ebook and FREE shipping.

Bookstore Pricing (MSRP) — These suggested retail prices include a projected bookstore mark-up of 25%

Best Value!
Inclusive Access Ebook
We partner with both RedShelf and VitalSource to provide day-one access to students through campus bookstores. Learn more about Inclusive Access at
Binder Ready/Loose Leaf
Talk to a rep for ISBN details
Binder Ready versions have pages that are loose leaf, three-hole punched, and fit into any standard three-ring binder (not included). They are fully typeset, include front and back covers, and are available at a discount compared to standard paperbacks. Contact us for course adoptions; not available for individual purchase.
$24.95 Paperback
Standard paperback version. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers — and from our website directly — see Purchase button above.
See more options
$22.95 Ebook
Ebooks are available for individual purchase (180-day access) through either RedShelf or VitalSource.
$39.95 Hardcover
Great for libraries and rental programs. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers.
Other Formats
Talk to a rep for details
Other formats (spiral bind, perforated, etc.) may be available. Contact us for course adoptions; specialty formats are not available for individual purchase.