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A matter of confidence : an exploration of how magistrates' confidence in youth offending team service provision can make a difference to decision-making in the youth courtsThe vast majority of children and young people appearing in criminal courts in England and Wales are sentenced through a youth court by lay magistrates. The magistrates court deals with 96% of all criminal cases in England and Wales and it is lay magistrates who decide on questions of fact, and sentence those convicted in 91% of these cases. Therefore, how Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and magistrates work together is a matter of interest. This research explores the extent to which magistrates' confidence in the YOT's service provision can make a difference to the decisions made with regards to bail/remand, sentencing, enforcement and revocation on grounds of good progress. Furthermore, the research considers how YOTs might improve the confidence of magistrates in their service provision and makes recommendations for practice in this regard.