Shelly O'Day's review in the Spartan Daily of the Northside Theatre Company's production in San Jose, California summarizes the plot: "Set in a juvenile detention center, Juvie depicts the life of kids who are scared, lonely and locked up. Some are drug offenders, some have killed and some are just misfits. Although the set never changes, the "juvies" venture out of their cells and tell why they were caught. The barren cell and lack of props are effective in keeping with each character's desolation."
The English Journal called McDonough the "Father of Young Adult Drama" because he was among the first to tackle the problems facing youth today in a straightforward, effective manner without profanity and obscenity. Juvie was the most-produced play by National Thespian Society members at one time, and McDonough's Addict and Dolls later joined Juvie on the top ten list. Since McDonough's death in 1999, we continue to get requests for biographical information from students who want to write an essay on the positive influence McDonough's plays have had on their lives.