The University of Iowa

Reading Practices in the Juvenile Correctional Facility Setting: Incarcerated Adolescents Speak Out


This multi-phasic, qualitative study explored the perceptions and provision of research-based reading instruction in the juvenile correctional facility setting. In three settings in two states, we interviewed students (n D 17), teachers (n D 5), and administrators (n D 3); and conducted two focus groups (n D 8), student surveys (n D 49), and seven observations of reading instruction. Our purposes were to (a) examine students’ perceptions of themselves as readers, (b) their perceptions regarding the importance of reading, and (c) the reading practices implemented with juvenile offenders. Findings suggest that a majority of incarcerated students view reading as an important skill, but there is a large disparity in the amount and type of reading instruction they are provided.


Wexler, J., Reed, D. K., & Sturges, K. (2015). Reading practices in the juvenile correctional facility setting: Incarcerated adolescents speak out. Exceptionality, 23, 100-123. doi: 10.1080/09362835.2014.986602

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