Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice


Leslie Paik of City College of New York, United States, wrote the article “Good parents, bad parents: Rethinking family involvement in juvenile justice.” The paper presents a new theoretical framework for exploring how families may be involved in various cases of youth delinquency in juvenile court. Overall, the author suggests that understanding the process of forming family involvement is essential for evaluating the family’s influence on the case outcomes. The article exploits qualitative data on different families provided by New York City Court, arguing that family involvement appears not as a predetermined factor but as an institutional process. The authors believe that this process is shaped by various interactions among youths who have committed delinquency, their family members, and court staff. Paik’s article appears as a credible and well-structured paper with some minor organization errors, but some of the research data is outdated, which can affect the study results.

Article Summary

The issue discussed in the article relates to family involvement in juvenile justice. Paik (2017) suggests that the idea of dividing parents into good and bad is overly primitive for evaluating the process by which their involvement is formed since there are many other significant factors. The purpose of the article is to capture the variety of ways family members, primarily parents, choose to behave and act when their child is undergoing a delinquency case. Based on the article’s main idea and the publishing journal, Theoretical Criminology, it is fair to suggest that the intended audience is people who are somehow related to youth cases in juvenile court. Thus, this group may include criminologists, judges, court officers, and members of juries. The article’s findings might be beneficial in analyzing youth cases and delivering verdicts since people working in court can use the article’s data to understand family involvement better. The paper’s thesis identifies a unique conceptualization that allows one to learn how parents usually manage information related to their families following their legal consciousness.

Analysis and Evaluation

Leslie Paik, the article’s creator, appears as a credible and highly qualified author. She currently holds the position of sociology associate professor at New York City College. She claims that her research interests include juvenile justice, institutions of social control, and legal family issues (Paik, 2017). Her background is associated with several works in the criminology field. Furthermore, Paik (2017) uses previous research of her own in the article under discussion, implementing a particular qualitative study conducted in 2011-2014. The study involved thirty different families whose teenage children have undergone litigation processes related to delinquency cases in New York City Family Court (Paik, 2017). In other words, Paik has a significant background in the field of criminology, and she has been doing continuous research on the same topic for several years. These facts prove that the article’s author should be considered a qualified expert in her professional area, her studies are credible, and her ideas are trustworthy.

The evidence in the article is adequately employed, with more than fifty articles used to complement the original research and support the author’s argument. Primary concepts in the article are based on Insanity of Place, Goffman’s essay of 1969, and the phenomenon of legal consciousness introduced in 1998 by Ewick and Silbey (as cited in Paik, 2017, p. 308). Overall, the evidence seems adequate and convincing since it comes from credible scholars with significant scientific backgrounds and is related to the paper’s main idea, supporting its thesis and conceptualization. However, many sources used are more than five years old, which makes them unreliable due to outdated information. The article was written in 2017, while many implemented sources are dated to the first decade of the 21st century. The article uses several sources from the 20th century, which are overly outdated. Goffman’s essay, the primary resource on which Paik’s ideas are based, was written in 1969, meaning that it was almost fifty years old when the article under discussion was created. Thus, the work might need reconsideration with the implementation of more recent evidence.

Most methods used for conducting research seem appropriate, but some essential information may be missing. In her research, Paik (2017) involved 30 families with children undergoing trials, doing interviews with them and their parents, observing their internal dynamics, and accompanying them to court hearings and mental health appointments. However, the sample included mainly teenagers associated with such severe offenses as assault, robbery, drug involvement, and even trespassing, meaning that many less severe delinquencies stayed out of this research. There is a chance that the reactions of family members, especially parents, and the subsequent family interactions will be different when teenagers commit robbery or, for example, disorderly conduct. Thus, it is advisable to expand the sample for this research to cover a wider area of youth delinquency cases and achieve more accurate study results.

The structure of ideas in the paper is mostly appropriate, and there are no significant errors that can make it difficult to read the article and perceive its ideas. Paik (2017) organizes her work in a consistent way, first discussing the theoretical limitations of the current scientific evidence, then presenting the new conceptualization and exemplifying it using findings from the qualitative study. However, the paper contains some minor mistakes in terms of proper structure: for instance, the article’s thesis is located in the middle of the introduction, which may make it challenging to identify the paper’s message. This mistake may seem insignificant, but the thesis is an essential part of any work, and it might be difficult for readers to follow the author’s thoughts if they struggle to determine the main idea. Aside from that, the article is well-structured and divided into sections, including the abstract, introduction, and conclusion, while the paragraphs are coherent and consistent.


Overall, the article under discussion is a reliable and well-structured study with some minor organization mistakes, though some of the exploited sources are outdated, which may impact research results. Paik is a trustworthy and qualified author with a significant scientific background, and her article contains properly employed evidence, mostly appropriate methodology, and a consistent and coherent structure. The author’s goal is achieved as Paik manages to apply her conceptualization to understanding family involvement in delinquency cases. However, the research can be improved by gathering more recent data to ensure the delivery of more accurate results. Furthermore, Paik’s qualitative study used as a fundament for her paper can be expanded by involving a wider variety of delinquency cases to observe the topic from a broader perspective. Should the suggested improvements and adjustments be made to the study, it will be deprived of its imperfections, providing serious ground for further research.


Paik, L. (2017). Good parents, bad parents: Rethinking family involvement in juvenile justice. Theoretical Criminology, 21(3), 307-323. Web.

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Work Cited

"Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice." LawBirdie, 9 Apr. 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice'. 9 April.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice." April 9, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice." April 9, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Family Involvement in Juvenile Justice." April 9, 2023.