Teen Incarceration

From Cell Bars to Ankle Bracelets

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

In the United States, the conversation about teen incarceration has moved from one extreme to another. For centuries, execution of juvenile offenders was legal. By the twenty-first century, the US Supreme Court had moved closer to banning all executions of minors, regardless of the severity of the crime. Since the 1990s, the US juvenile justice system has moved away from harsh punishment and toward alternative evidence-based models that include education, skills building, and therapy.

In Teen Incarceration, readers meet former teen incarcerees who now lead exemplary lives. Learn how juvenile justice works in the United States and meet the people working to reform the system.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity
Copyright 2017
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 120
Publication Date 2016-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 11.9
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN051000, YAN031000
Dewey 364.60835/0973
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 1260
ATOS Reading Level 8.9
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 183686
Accelerated Reader® Points 5.0
Features Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, and Table of contents

Author: Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones lives in Minneapolis and is the author of many novels including the Support and Defend series. A former librarian, Jones received lifetime achievement awards from the American Library Association and the Catholic Library Association.


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2017


School Library Journal

“A strong addition to collections in need of social science titles on prison reform.”—School Library Journal


“This multifaceted, informative look at youth incarceration examines the history, components, and issues of the juvenile justice system. . . . [A] thought-provoking title.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he punishment of teenage offenders is concisely and thoughtfully discussed. . . . Jones makes excellent use of statistics, research studies, and the voices of former teen offenders. . . . An accessible, informative introduction to the topic.”—Kirkus Reviews