Source: (2001) Family Court Review. 39: 207.

Juvenile court was created on the theory that juveniles should be treated differently than adults in terms of criminal wrongdoing. In most states in the United States, juvenile and family courts have jurisdiction over youths who engage in actions that are illegal chiefly because the youths are under a specified age: for example, truancy, staying out past a curfew, disobeying parents, and running away. Such youths are labeled in various ways: PINS (persons in need of supervision): MINS (minors otherwise in need of supervision): and CHINS (children in need of supervision). Kogan contends that the purpose of the ungovernability jurisdiction is being subverted by certain factors, and that a new approach is need to aid the vast number of children placed in non-secure detention facilities in the United States. Family group conferencing is a viable new approach. To explore this approach, Kogan describes the nature of PINS status, weaknesses in the current adversarial system, and problems and benefits in adapting New Zealand-style family group conferencing in the United States juvenile justice system.