Centre for Social Justice

Centre for Social Justice
Formation 2004 (2004)
Type think tank
Legal status company limited by guarantee (non-profit)
Chief Executive
Andy Cook
Approximately £1.6m
Website http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an independent[1] centre-right[2] think tank co-founded in 2004 by Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Montgomerie.

Political positions

The organisation's stated aim is to "put social justice at the heart of British politics".[3] While the think-tank states it is politically independent, it has been labelled one of the most influential on the British Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron.[4]

Policy programmes and impact

One of the CSJ's most notable reports was Breakthrough Britain.[5] It has also produced well-publicised reports into gang culture,[6] modern slavery,[7] addiction,[8] family breakdown,[9] and educational failure.[10] In 2012, the CSJ announced it would carry out the study Breakthrough Britain II.[11] The CSJ has also played important roles in the design and development of Universal Credit (a major welfare reform programme) and championing the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

More recently, notable policy programmes and impact include:


  • A Woman-Centred Approach called on government to scrap plans for up to 5 new women's prisons and to put funds towards community-based alternatives. The Ministry of Justice subsequently announced they would scrap the new prison plans and set out proposals to pilot five residential centres for women in the community.[12]


  • Housing First recommended placing homeless people dealing with problems like alcohol and drug abuse in permanent accommodation and giving them access to care and training. The approach, known as Housing First, had been trialled in the US and adopted by Finland with positive results. Conservative Communities Secretary Sajid Javid had said he was keen to examine the scheme.[13] While the CSJ called for a nationwide roll-out of Housing First, the Government announced and allocated £28m funding for a number of Housing First pilot sites in the West Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester.[14]
  • Growing the Local called on the government to give Police and Crime Commissioners additional flexibility to increase the police precept, a set of proposals subsequently adopted and providing additional resources for policing and crime.[15]
  • Lowering the Stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals called on government to reduce the stake from £100 to £2 for fixed odds betting terminals, which the government duly did in 2018.[16]

Structure and operation

Historically, the CSJ's work was project-based with projects and staff members changing regularly. Recently, under Andy Cook, the latest Chief Executive, the CSJ has created a number of dedicated policy units with specific unit heads to lead on their designated area.

Policy Unit Structure[17]
Policy Area Unit Head
Education James Scales
Work and Welfare Patrick Spencer
Criminal Justice Rory Geoghegan
Family Frank Young
Addiction Adrian Crossley

The CSJ also has an alliance of "front line poverty fighting charities" and runs an annual Centre for Social Justice Awards ceremony celebrating some of the best voluntary and non-profit organisations in the UK. In addition the CSJ regularly holds events at the major political party conferences.


In addition to holding their own Awards ceremony, the CSJ has also won a number of awards in the past:

Notable members

Past and present:


The CSJ acknowledges some funders in individual reports, but this information is not collated on its website or in its annual accounts, and there is no indication of the proportion of funders acknowledged, resulting in the thinktank being graded E for transparency by the Who Funds You? project.[19]

See also


  1. "List of thinktanks in the UK". the Guardian. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  2. Justice, The Centre for Social. "Iain Duncan Smith bids to rescue state school sport - The Centre for Social Justice". The Centre for Social Justice. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  3. Iain Duncan Smith. "The CSJ Story". The Centre for Social Justice.
  4. "Centre for Social Justice and Policy Exchange are best regarded think tanks by ConservativeHome's 'influentials panel'". Conservative Home. 1 April 2010.
  5. "Breakthrough Britain, Tory recommendations". The Telegraph. 10 July 2007.
  6. politicshome: "CSJ backs gangs plan and calls for 'relentless effort' to make streets safe" 1 Nov 2011 Archived October 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Buchanan, Michael (10 March 2013). "UK anti-trafficking efforts need overhaul, report says". BBC News.
  8. "UK is 'addictions capital of Europe'". BBC News. 1 September 2013.
  9. "Million Children Live In Fatherless Households". Sky News. 10 June 2013.
  10. Adam Withnall (3 September 2013). "'Education underclass' of children in the UK is still in nappies when they start school". The Independent.
  11. "Breakthrough Britain II Overview". Centre for Social Justice. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  12. "Female Offender Strategy". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  13. Helm, Toby (2017-03-11). "Government considering plans to house addicts who sleep rough". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  14. "Government announces £28m funding for Housing First pilots". Inside Housing. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  15. "Police to get 'extra £450m funding'". BBC News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  16. Davies, Rob (2018-05-17). "Maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals cut to £2". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  17. Justice, The Centre for Social. "CSJ Staff Archive - The Centre for Social Justice". The Centre for Social Justice. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  18. prospectmagazine.co.uk: "Think Tank Awards 2013 Winners" Archived July 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. "Who Funds You? - Centre for Social Justice". Who Funds You?. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
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