Cover image for They broke the law, you be the judge : true cases of teen crime
They broke the law, you be the judge : true cases of teen crime
Jacobs, Thomas A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, MN : Free Spirit Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 212 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Letters from and interviews with twenty-one children and teenagers who broke the law reveal what it is like to be arrested, attend legal proceedings, and be held accountable for one's actions.
Adam-age 15-a threat made in school -- Adelina-age 13-robbing a girl -- Andrew-age 17-a fight with his brother -- Ashley-age 14-caught with a bag of marijuana -- Brandon-age 14-breaking into a home -- Brianne-age 17-a stolen car, a stolen credit card, and forgery -- Carla-age 15-a fight with mom -- Charles-age 16-cocaine and a gun -- Erica-age 14-assault and possessing a marijuana pipe -- Jennifer-age 13-stolen Christmas presents -- Jerry-age 15-home break in and theft -- Joshua-age 15-cutting school -- Marcus-age 14-stealing a telephone cord -- Natalie-age 14-caught with beer at a party -- Olivia-age 14-a stolen car -- Philip-age 9-assault against his mother -- Ronald-age 16-caught with beer and wine in a car -- Samantha-age 14-unpaid cab fare and lying to police -- Sean-age 16-a pipe bomb in a bedroom drawer -- Starlett-age 14-cutting school and violation of probation -- Tanya-age 14-a stolen pregncy test kit.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 7.4 9.0 84818.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF9780 .J33 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Teens often hear about other teens who get into trouble with the law. But they're seldom asked what they think should happen next and why. A unique introduction to the juvenile justice system, They Broke the Law--You Be the Judge: True Cases of Teen Crime invites teens to preside over a variety of real-life cases.They meet Adam, who makes a threat in school; Erica, who assaults another student and uses marijuana; and more young people who commit crimes and are caught. Like a judge, readers learn each teen's background, the relevant facts, and the sentencing options available. After deciding on a sentence, they find out what really happened--and where each offender is today.Along the way, readers learn Judge Jacobs' concerns about each case, reflect on probing questions, and discover that they can't jump to conclusions. Teens (and teachers) who want more can find role-playing ideas and scenarios related to the stories available as free downloads here on the Free Spirit Web site.Thought-provoking and eye-opening, this book is for all teens who want to know more about the juvenile justice system and the laws that pertain to them and their peers.

Author Notes

Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D., spent 30 years as a lawyer and a judge, most in juvenile court. He was an Arizona Assistant Attorney General, a Superior Court Juvenile Division judge, and a Family Court judge

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. A former juvenile court judge offers a compelling behind the bench look at juvenile crime and justice. In each of the 21 real-life cases of teen crime,acobs describes the background of the offender and the circumstances of the offense. He then presents several sentencing options, leaving it up to the reader to decide what punishment is appropriate by offering a series of questions to consider before imposing a sentence.acobs also includes the judge's decision in each case, and he asks readers to compare and contrast their decision to the judge's. Through the encouraged role-playing, students will gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the system. An excellent introduction to how juvenile justice works, this will be a great resource for classroom and group discussions. --Ed Sullivan Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Written by a juvenile court judge, this book details 21 cases ranging from truancy to auto theft. Following a description of events leading up to and including the crime itself, readers are given background about the individual, sentencing options, and questions to consider before sentencing, and then asked to make a decision about the case. Jacobs then explains his decision, asks for responses to it, and tells what later happened to the individual. Each case also includes a letter written by the teenager to Judge Jacobs. With the proliferation of courtroom shows on television, this book gives young people a more realistic look at the legal system designed for them. The author's compassion for those who appeared before him will also be eye-opening for many young people. "There may be an occasional detour, but more often than not, they get back on track. It's inspiring to see-." That, above all, will teach young people an important lesson. An unusual and thought-provoking treatment.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. viii
A Brief Look at the Juvenile Justice Systemp. 1
How to Use This Bookp. 4
Using Role Playsp. 8
Glossary of Legal and Court Terms Used in the Bookp. 10
Twenty-one True Cases of Teen Crime
Adam, 15: a threat made in schoolp. 18
Adelina, 13: robbing a girlp. 27
Andrew, 17: a fight with a brotherp. 37
Ashley, 14: caught with a bag of marijuanap. 46
Brandon, 14: breaking into a homep. 55
Brianne, 17: a stolen car, a stolen credit card, and forgeryp. 64
Carla, 15: a fight with momp. 74
Charles, 16: cocaine and a gunp. 83
Erica, 14: assault and possessing a marijuana pipep. 92
Jennifer, 13: stolen Christmas presentsp. 101
Jerry, 15: home break-in and theftp. 110
Joshua, 15: cutting schoolp. 118
Marcus, 14: stealing a telephone cordp. 126
Natalie, 14: caught with beer at a partyp. 133
Olivia, 14: a stolen carp. 141
Philip, 9: assault against his motherp. 151
Ronald, 16: caught with beer and wine in a carp. 160
Samantha, 14: unpaid cab fare and lying to policep. 167
Sean, 16: a pipe bomb in a bedroom drawerp. 176
Starlett, 14: cutting school and violation of probationp. 184
Tanya, 14: a stolen pregnancy test kitp. 193
Closing Argumentsp. 202
Resourcesp. 203
Indexp. 209
About the Authorp. 213