Community justice centres (CJCs) form part of a new wave of justice innovations promising to revitalize justice practices, give hope to disadvantaged communities and transform the lives of offenders. CJCs work closely with local communities to craft bespoke justice solutions that aim to reduce crime and societal dysfunction by tackling the root causes of criminality in particular localities. The United Kingdom opened its first CJC, the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre in 2005, but after 8 years of operation it was closed down. This article critically explores the North Liverpool evaluation experience and lessons for projects elsewhere as they prove themselves as sustainable justice solutions. It contends that by partnering with local people, not only for a Centre’s operational aspects but also ‘bottom up’ appraisals, there is an opportunity to improve the quantity and reliability of data while also strengthening community ties and knowledge of the Centre’s activities. Ensuring that the community is a key part of demonstrating the success of such Centres will improve the quality of evaluations while also fortifying the Centre’s connection with the locality.