Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

The Prime Minister makes 2016 the Year of 'Social Renewal'

The Prime Minister (pictured here at an event co-hosted by the CSJ in 2015) made ‘social renewal’ a big part of his New Year’s message, promising to tackle “family instability and worklessness” amongst other themes in his fight to tackle poverty in 2016.

Whilst most of the political focus this week has been on reshuffles and Europe, 2016 presents a big opportunity for the PM to demonstrate his Government’s commitment to tackling poverty by making a number of historic social justice announcements. This week also marks exactly ten weeks until the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, when we will be looking to help the Chancellor deliver a Budget for 'social renewal'.

As the Prime Minister looked ahead to 2016, the CSJ published its seven New Year’s resolutions on Twitter, covering seven big announcements the Government could make in 2016. You can follow the CSJ on Twitter @CSJThinkTank.

Criminal Justice Reforms

One of the key areas of reform in 2016 will be Michael Gove’s changes to the Criminal Justice system where he will continue to put rehabilitation at the heart of his programme. The CSJ will be publishing new research into the UK’s prison system in 2016.

As part of the CSJ's ongoing criminal justice research into education, training and employment in prison, CSJ Researcher Lucy Kinder visited HMP Swaleside. This prison is a category B training prison, which means most of the prisoners are serving long sentences, but are not in the high security estate. The average 'stay' in Swaleside is six years. For policy makers, rehabilitating prisoners serving longer sentences is a key challenge - how can prisoners be prepared for life on the outside when they still have a significant period of time to serve within the prison system? Our research will look at how the criminal justice system can engage prisoners in Category B prisons in meaningful activity and ensure effective rehabilitation on eventual release. It's a delicate balance for this area of the prison estate.


Just before Christmas prison reform campaigner Lady Edwina Grosvenor produced an eye catching video on some of the challenges faced by women in prisons, explaining why the so-called “justice maze” is broken and how we can fix it. The short video is narrated by Lady Edwina on behalf of her charity, One Small Thing. Click the image above to watch the video. 

CSJ Blogs

Frank Young: Reshuffles should be about policy as much as personalities

With reshuffles in the news this week, CSJ Campaigns Director Frank Young explains why he thinks reshuffles should be about policy direction as much as party management and how some policy areas, such as Family Stability, identified by the Prime Minister as a key issue for tackling poverty, don’t fit neatly into a single government department.

Read Frank’s blog here


The appointment of a Cabinet-level Minister who will champion the family agenda at the highest level of Government; a Secretary of State with clear accountability for families who is resourced at a Department level to drive through a programme to strengthen families, boost stability and uphold fatherhood and its importance. Read the CSJ's Fully Committed report here.

Saskia Greenhalgh: Will the Government make a big alcohol addiction announcement alongside new guidelines for consumers?

CSJ Researcher Saskia Greenhalgh takes a look at the Government’s proposals for new guidance on alcohol consumption and asks the Government to announce a ground-breaking treatment policy alongside measures to curb alcohol addiction. Treatment for alcohol addiction needs to be at the forefront of efforts to tackle poverty.

Read Saskia’s blog here


A Treatment Tax: The CSJ recommends introducing a small, ring-fenced treatment tax on every unit of alcohol that can be used to fund effective abstinence-based rehabilitation centres. This tax would only apply to off-trade sales, i.e. it would exclude any sales in pubs or restaurants. Read the CSJ's Ambitious for Recovery report here.

Frank Young: #DivorceDay doesn't have to be inevitable...

Responding to Divorce Day on Monday, Frank Young encourages the Government to increase its efforts to intervene and support Family Stability before relationships reach crisis point. The PM put Family Stability at the centre of his New Year’s announcement on priorities for 2016. The CSJ believes the Government can make a significant impact in this area by investing in relationship support.

Read Frank’s blog here.


The CSJ is calling on the Government to invest an extra £15 million on targeted relationship support, tripling the amount the Government currently spends. Read the CSJ's Open Letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer here.

The Registry Office fee to be waived for couples intending to marry who take part in an accredited Marriage Preparation course. Read the CSJ's Fully Committed report here.

CSJ Alliance Charity: Forward Assist

The CSJ is unique amongst think tanks in having an alliance of over 350 grassroots charities and small voluntary organisations that are working to tackle social issues in the most disadvantaged parts of Britain.

CSJ Award winning charity Forward Assist is doing important work, providing support and guidance to former servicemen and women who are struggling with the transition to life as a civilian.

Forward Assist engage former servicemen and women in activities that involve the community. Through their activities, Forward Assist promote ‘active citizenship’ which has the effect of helping their physical and mental health and also helps people in their community. The transition to ‘Civvy Street’ is not easy for many and this unique charity has helped nearly 100 former servicemen and women.

For more information on Forward Assist and how you could get involved please go their website: www.forward-assist.com