Source: (2006) Youth Justice Vol. 4 No. 1 pp.3-13This article examines the introduction of Referrals Orders into the youth justice systems in England and Wales. Placing the new Orders within the recent history of youth justice within this jurisdiction, it considers the experience of the eleven pilot areas in attempting to recruit and train the cohort of volunteers required to enable youth offender panels to operate. Using data from a Home Office –funded evaluation of the pilots it examines the first nine month of Referral Orders, the operation of Youth Offender Panels and the attitudes of sentencers towards the new disposal.