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'Rocket-boosters on rehabilitation', says Prime Minister in CSJ speech

Offenders must be punished and rehabilitated at the same time if we want a justice system fit-for-purpose, David Cameron said in his first speech on crime as Prime Minister.

In front of an expert audience at the CSJ, Mr Cameron announced a raft of new measures – such as offering rehabilitation to short-term prisoners, paying charities and companies who work with offenders by results, and introducing a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ policy for serious offenders.

The CSJ took part in a number of broadcast media interviews, where Managing Director Christian Guy broadly welcomed the speech and urged the Government to continue with its ‘rehabilitation revolution’. He was interviewed on BBC Newsnight (from 25:30), BBC News 24, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drive show and the same station’s Tony Livesey programme.

The event was covered by the Telegraph, Guardian, BBC, Sky News and politics.co.uk.   

The last major speech Mr Cameron gave on criminal justice was at the CSJ six years ago - notoriously dubbed 'hug a hoodie' - where he said if we want to tackle crime we have to look at its root causes and commit to social reform.

Saying he and the CSJ had been on a journey together, the PM noted the landmark report, Breakthrough Britain, had been ‘hugely influential’ on his political vision. Yesterday he welcomed  the launch of Breakthrough Britain II as a new review that will ‘shine a light on the darkest places in society’.

The project will look at the pathways to poverty: family breakdown, addiction, unmanageable personal debt, economic dependency, educational failure and the role of the voluntary sector in tackling social breakdown. Anyone interested in contributing to the six areas of this major report can contact the CSJ at admin@centreforsocialjustice.org.uk

CSJ ‘Good Society’ lectures: early intervention key to social recovery

Failure to intervene early and tackle the social breakdown that rips through communities across the UK has been the biggest let down of successive Parliaments, according to leading Labour MP Graham Allen, who opened the CSJ’s ‘Good Society’ lectures last week.

Mr Allen emphasised early intervention as the most effective way of reversing acute social problems, as well being potentially the ‘biggest debt reduction plan ever’.

The MP for Nottingham North, who wrote two seminal papers on early intervention for the current Government, was speaking at the first of three lectures the CSJ is hosting, which explore Labour’s social reform plans and the need for a ‘Good Society’.

Mr Allen previously worked with CSJ founder and current Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to highlight the importance of early intervention (read the report here) - Labour MP Frank Field described it as the most important publication he had read in more than 30 years in Parliament.

The event was well attended and sets an excellent precedent for the upcoming speeches. David Lammy MP, a former Government Minister whose commentary on the 2011 riots has proved valuable, will talk about the role of families and communities in a ‘Good Society’ on November 14. Jon Cruddas MP, who is currently leading Labour’s policy review, will highlight the role of the state in a ‘Good Society’ on December 13. Both events will take place in London.

To find out more and to book a place click here.