They Broke the Law—You Be the Judge: True Cases of Teen Crime (Teens and the Law) (Paperback)

They Broke the Law—You Be the Judge: True Cases of Teen Crime (Teens and the Law) By Thomas A. Jacobs Cover Image
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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.

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.

About the Author

Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D., was an Arizona Assistant Attorney General from 1972 to 1985 where he practiced criminal and child welfare law.

He was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1985 where he served as a judge pro tem and commissioner in the juvenile and family courts until his retirement in 2008. He also taught juvenile law for ten years as an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. He continues to write for teens, lawyers, and judges.

Visit Judge Jacobs’s website,, for free interactive educational tools that provide current information regarding laws, court decisions, and national news affecting teens. It’s the only site of its kind to provide legal questions and answers for teens and parents with the unique ability to interact with Judge Jacobs and other teens.

Judge Jacobs was part of an expert panel of guests on the Dr. Phil show “Bullied to Death” in April 2010. He spoke about the anonymity of cyberbullying. A copy of his book, Teen Cyberbullying Investigated, was given to each member of the audience with Dr. Phil’s exhortation to “Read it. It will close the gap between you and what your kids know that you don’t know.”

Praise For…

“A refreshing and completely unique resource.”—Youthworker

ALA/YALSA “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults”, Selected

ForeWord Book of the Year Awards Finalist, ForeWord Magazine

“A refreshing and completely unique resource.”
— Youthworker

“Unusual and thought-provoking . . . with the proliferation of courtroom shows on television, this book gives young people a more realistic look at the legal system designed for them.”
— School Library Journal

“An excellent introduction of how juvenile justice works...great resource for classroom and group discussions.”

 “Very relevant...will strike a chord with adolescent readers.”
— Children’s Literature

 “Ideal for class discussion.... An excellent resource for mock trial preparation.”
— Voice of Youth Advocates
Product Details
ISBN: 9781575421346
ISBN-10: 1575421348
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
Publication Date: August 15th, 2003
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Teens and the Law