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Documentary on my time in rehab: Drink, Drugs and Democracy

I recently took the Centre for Social Justice Inner City Challenge, spending three days in drug and alcohol rehabilitation with ex-offenders at Acorn Treatment. My article on the experience is here: My placement with Acorn was emotionally exhausting. To share a few days full-time with people who have experienced life’s very worst aspects would be a challenge. To layer on top the drama of active rehabilitation was searing. There must be justice but, after that, mercy, forgiveness and transformation. That is what Acorn […]

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A remarkable visit to Acorn Treatment

Yesterday, I completed a remarkable visit to Acorn Treatment. I saw some serial offenders confronting their own lives and the consequences of their actions, often criminal, on others. I also heard some of the atrocious things which they had suffered at the hands of others, including their own families. I saw remorse, acceptance, struggle and transformation. There was real joy shining forth from those who have escaped cycles of addiction and crime and who are now looking forward to healthy […]

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CSJ placement with Acorn Treatment in progress

With thanks to the Centre for Social Justice, I’ll be with Acorn Treatment in Manchester for a few days, learning about their treatment and housing programme for drug and alcohol users. From their site: Acorn Treatment and Housing (formally ADAS) has been a successful treatment provider for over 13 years. Oak House, our first project, opened in Stockport in 1997 as a day centre offering treatment to individuals and their families affected by addiction. Since opening, we have treated hundreds […]

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21st Century Welfare – DWP

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Via 21st Century Welfare, the Coalition seeks views on proposals for welfare reform. Since I gave time to work for the Centre for Social Justice, these reforms are close to my heart: we must take people out of the present intergenerational cycles of broad spectrum poverty. Iain Duncan Smith’s statement in the main paper is encouraging, particularly the central section: Too often governments have tried to tackle poverty but ended up managing its symptoms. The changes outlined here are based on […]

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Blueprints | Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Via Blueprints | Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence | CU-Boulder. Demand for effective violence, drug, and crime prevention programs continues to grow. Across the country, a raft of programs aimed at preventing violence and drug abuse is underway. All of these programs are well-intentioned. Yet very few of them have evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. Many are implemented with little consistency or quality control. How do we know what works? … Why do we need to know what works? […]

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Breakthrough Britain

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If anyone still doubts whether British society is broken, they should read the reports of the Centre for Social Justice. When we consider family breakdown, educational failure, economic dependence, indebtedness and addictions, the human and financial cost of decades of top-down bureaucratic control becomes heart-breaking. And let’s not forget that, these days, the poor pay tax to support the very services which fail them. The sheer scale and quality of the work of the Centre shines through their reports and […]

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