Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) Petitions
What does this measure?
A PINS child is a “person in need of supervision,” a youth for whom a complaint has been filed due to non–criminal misconduct such as truancy, incorrigibility, disobedience or running away from home. Petitions represent PINS cases that go to Family Court. This indicator reflects the number of petitions filed per 1,000 county residents 10 to 17 years old. Prior to July 2002, PINS were limited to youth under 16, and rates reflect petitions per 1,000 youths 10 to 15 years old.
Why is this important?
PINS petitions show how many cases were serious enough to go to court rather than be handled through a diversion program. PINS statistics indicate the level of youth disobedience in the community, family dysfunction and the job that counties are doing to curb disruptive and criminal tendencies in high–risk children.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
The rate of PINS petitions was 0.6 in Cayuga and 2.8 in Seneca in 2010, compared to the state (excluding NYC) rate of 2.1. Rates for comparison counties hovered around 2, with the exception of Oswego, with a rate of 3.1. However, the number of PINS petitions in several counties was so low (5 in Cayuga and 10 in Seneca for 2010) that the rates are given to fluctuation. Overall, rates have dropped by more than 50% in all counties and the state since 2000. Officials attribute the large statewide declines to stronger and more active programs diverting PINS youth to alternative programs.
Notes about the data
These data do not reflect an unduplicated count of youth involved with the PINS system; as an individual may have multiple petitions within a single year. These data also do not reflect the ultimate disposition of the case. For half of 2002, cases of 16– and 17–year–olds are included in intakes, so the rate was calculated using the population of 10– to 17–year–olds. This likely results in somewhat understating the rate for 2002. A relatively high PINS rate could indicate that a community is detecting and dealing with youth problems early, before they escalate to the level of juvenile delinquency or crime.
Rates in Cayuga, Seneca and some of the comparison counties are based upon small numbers, which makes it difficult to distinguish random fluctuation from true changes.