Throughout the novel, Steve’s parents play a critical role, even if not always obvious. While most of Steve’s flashbacks to before the trial do not concern his parents, from other context clues the reader can surmise that prior to the trial, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon provided a stable, loving, and somewhat religious home. After Steve’s arrest, his mother is heartbroken, which prevents her from visiting Steve right away. During the trial, Mrs. Harmon visits Steve often, saying to him, "No matter what anybody says, I know you're innocent, and I love you very much" (Saturday, July 11th entry). Moreover, she leaves clean clothes for him to wear to court, along with giving him highlighted bible passages. After the trial, Mrs. Harmon is relieved her son is home, even if she does not completely understand his compulsion to make movies of himself. Indeed, it is evident Steve’s mother believes in his innocence and will unfailingly support him.
Conversely, Steve’s father views him with doubt. Although he visits Steve in prison, Steve senses his father is unsure of his innocence. In one conversation, Mr. Harmon confesses to Steve, "never thought of seeing you—you know—seeing you in a place like this. It just never came to me that you'd ever be in any kind of trouble” (p. 111–112). Subsequently, Steve writes that he feels as though his father sees him as a monster, and that breaks Steve’s heart. Following the trial, Mr. Harmon moves away from his family, which leaves Steve questioning himself and his father.
Walter Dean Myers does not explicitly write regarding Mr. and Mrs. Harmon’s responsibility for Steve’s troubles. It is left to each reader to form an opinion or conclusion about his parents’ role. Steve’s parents aid him in getting out of trouble through their physical and emotional support, including visiting him in prison.