Max Chambers

Max Chambers

Related Publications

Future Courts: A new vision for summary justicev

Future Courts calls for magistrates to dispense justice inside police stations at peak times – including evenings and weekends – and be put in charge of the administration of out-of-court disposals, as part of a radical drive to speed up the operation of the criminal justice system.

Power Down: A plan for a cheaper, more effective justice system

Power Down argues that the election of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the balance of power in a system currently almost bereft of local control, financial responsibility or democratic accountability. It proposes a strategy for a deliberate, steady decentralisation of the criminal justice system. Instead of local leaders looking upwards and inwards to Whitehall for direction and validation, they should increasingly look outwards to […]

Future Prisons: A radical plan to reform the prison estate

Future Prisons calls for the government to shut more than 30 run-down and poorly-located prisons and replace them with 12 state of the art ‘Hub Prisons’, containing up to 3,000 inmates. The new prisons would lead to huge costs savings, a reduction in reoffending rates and a better quality of life for prisoners and prison staff.

Rebooting the PC: Using innovation to drive smart policing

Rebooting the PC urges police chiefs not to put ‘buildings before bobbies’. The police could save money and offer a better service to the public by closing out of date police stations and opening more local police offices in shopping centres and other popular public locations.

Expanding Payment-by-Results: Strategic choices and recommendations

Expanding Payment-by-Results argues that plans to privatise the probation service, underpinned by a ‘payment-by-results’ mechanism, will only work if the prisons system is wrapped into the reforms and prison governors are directly incentivised to cooperate with the new private and voluntary providers who are due to take over probation services.

Incentivising Wellness: Improving the treatment of long-term conditions

Incentivising Wellness shows how the NHS can save tens of billions of pounds while also taking better care of one of the UK’s fastest-growing diseases – diabetes.

Carter But Smarter: Transforming offender management, reducing reoffending

Carter But Smarter warns that the official reoffending rate is unsafe. It recommends a radical shake-up of the criminal justice system in order to truly reduce reoffending, including the abolition of the regional structure of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the introduction of new public-private partnerships to reduce crime and recidivism.

A State of Disorder: Moving beyond the ASBO in tackling anti-social behaviour

A State of Disorder contends that while some limited progress has been made in tackling anti social behaviour, there are a host of weaknesses with the government’s approach.

Coming Clean: Combating drug misuse in prisons

This report contends that there are a series of fundamental problems with the way the issue of drugs in prisons is approached – and that despite repeated warning signs, the Prison Service appears destined to continue down the same failed path.

Partners in Crime: Democratic Accountability and the Future of Local Policing

Partners in Crime calls for the introduction of elected police heads, responsible for meeting the needs of local people and revitalising the relationship between the police and the public.

Arrested Development: Reducing the number of young people in custody while reducing crime

Our latest report recommends that local authorities should foot the bill for youth custody places, thereby removing the existing perverse incentive in the system. At present, local authorities have a financial disincentive to keep young people out of prison. Youth custody is funded centrally, meaning that when troubled young people are imprisoned, they are taken out of local agencies’ caseloads and budgets. Arrested Development also makes a number of recommendations […]

Less Crime, Lower Costs

This report identifies examples of ten programmes that are proven to have significant impact on future offending as well as being cost-effective. But knowing what works is only the first step; these programmes have to be put into practice properly in order to have the desired effect and the report’s authors also show how to implement and fund these programmes which would cut crime and its associated costs.

Related Blogs

Swifter and more certain justice will drive down crime

Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, sets out what improvements need to be made to the justice system in order to actually change criminals' behaviour. The system would be need to be faster, so that the connection between offence and punishment is not lost over time, punishment would be more certain through greater detection of crime, and more problem-solving techniques would be incorporated.

Reforming the courts

Reforming the courts

Drug Courts work in America – and can work here

Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice Max Chambers makes the case for the introduction of drugs courts in the UK. These courts would offer people the treatment they need, but demand more of them in return, with judges given a flexible range of available incentives and sanctions to deploy. Max shows how in the US, such courts have saved $3 in avoided criminal justice costs for every $1 spent, rising to $26 in wider societal savings.

Towards a more self-financing courts system

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that it's time to reform the English courts to maximize the international competitive advantage we hold in the legal services industry and to provide a substantial revenue for our courts.

May and Grayling's record and what it will mean at the general election

Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, Max Chambers, analyses the achievements and progress made by the Home Secretary, Theresa May and the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, as well as the challenges ahead and the role that crime and immigration will play in the upcoming 2015 general election.

Give PCCs power to hire and fire prison governors

Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, sets out the recommendations of our recent report Power Down, which advocates giving PCCs further criminal justice and crime prevention responsibilities. The report envisages ten or so existing 'Super' PCCs trialling these new powers on an accelerated timescale.

Labour is unlikely to scrap PCCs, so here's how it can reform them

Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice Max Chambers examines Labour's likely forthcoming policy announcements in the area of policing and argues that the party needs to address its position on PCCs. Max argues that the smart money is on PCCs remaining in place - should Labour seek to scrap PCCs, they would need to make it their first priority in office and pass emergency legislation in Parliament.

Should thieves and fraudsters be spared prison terms?

Following the Howard League for Penal Reform's recommendation that thieves and fraudsters should not serve prison terms, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime and Justice, Max Chambers, argues that property crimes are already treated very leniently by the criminal justice system. Instead of banning prison sentences to reduce the prison population, the focus should be on preventing crime and reducing reoffending.

Could the riots happen again?

Two years on from the 2011 riots, Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, examines the cognitive dimension of the rioter’s behaviour and how this might link with the proliferation of social media. Max argues that the conditions that sparked the riots are still present and that in the short-term we may unfortunately become more familiar with these types of disturbances.

Reforming reform with payment by results

Max Chambers, Head of Crime and Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that the UK’s penal system is in danger of failing the hardest-to-help. Payment-by-results, he argues, will provide a potentially revolutionary powerful commercial incentive for providers to innovate and effect some badly needed cultural changes within the probation system.

To win, Cameron must make a game-changing offer to the young middle-classes

Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, writes calling for David Cameron to make a game-changing offer to the young middle classes if he wishes to secure election victory in 2015. Max argues that a sensible discussion needs to be had with the older generation to persuade them that it is in the interest of their grandchildren and generational fairness that they take less generous old age perks.

It's time we stopped paying posh London hotel prices to lock up prisoners

Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's Head of Crime & Justice, writes exposing the myth that by nature of their size, large prisons are worse than smaller ones. Max argues that the key determinant of a prison's performance is in fact age, and sets out the proposals from Future Prisons for replacing 30-35 old, run down prisons with 12 large, new 'Hub Prisons' geared towards reducing reoffending.

Britain’s young sheriffs are growing up fast

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that, despite a rocky start, Police and Crime Commissioners have made genuine progress in the six months they have been in position. He notes that there is emerging evidence of real change starting to happen behind the scenes, including a dramatic swing in the power relationship from central government to the local level.

How a TARDIS could help the police

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that the police could save money and offer a better service to the public by closing out of date police stations and introducing technologically-enabled 'TARDIS' police boxes where the public could report crime, a recommendation made in recent Policy Exchange report Rebooting the PC.

It's still too early to judge new Police Commissioners

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, sets out why it is too early to judge Police and Crime Commissioners. He argues that the recent criticisms of PCCs following the twitter scandal with Kent's Youth Commissioner Paris Brown reveals nothing about what PCCs have achieved so far in their short four months in office.

The Tory 'hardliners' showing their compassion

Max Chambers, Head of Crime & Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that the clash between Tory ‘modernisers’ and ‘traditionalists’ is a false dichotomy stirred up by the media. Max notes that Chris Grayling’s work in justice and Iain Duncan Smith’s work in welfare show that it is possible to be both Conservative and back social reform policies.

Putting rocket boosters on the rehabilitation revolution

Max Chambers, Policy Exchange's new Head of Crime & Justice, analyses Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's speech on Payment by Results (PbR). Max welcomes the renewed focus on the PbR agenda, but argues that PbR needs to be a means to a bigger end - a truly outcome-focused criminal justice system where all parties are focused on a common aim.

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