Charlene tells Patty's grandparents that Patty will not be charged with treason, but she will likely be sent to reform school. Her words prove prescient, because Patty is sent to the Jasper E. Conrad Arkansas Reformatory for Girls. As she's only twelve, Patty is too young to be prosecuted under the Treason Act.
Her first impression of the school isn't a positive one. When she first catches a glimpse of the school, she thinks the school resembles enclosures at a zoo.
The school is a three-story brick building. On closer inspection, however, Patty can see the windows are boarded up with "diamond-shaped, heavy wire screening." She remembers that, at the Memphis Zoo, the same type of screening is used to keep the animals safely enclosed and separated from zoo visitors. Patty's first impression is that the reform school looks like a prison of sorts.