Circles of Support and Accountability aims: To substantially reduce the risk of future sexual victimization of community members by assisting and supporting released individuals in integrating with the community and leading a responsible, productive, and accountable life.
CoSA works with former offenders, who we refer to as “Core Members”, who have been held in prison to the end of their sentence and typically have little or no community support and are considered a high-risk to re-offend.
Although imprisoning offenders accomplishes the short term objective of ensuring public safety, most are eventually released and return to communities with minimal or no support and very little in the way of accountability. Core members seek CoSA’s help voluntarily, to assist with reintegration challenges and to desist from reoffending.
CoSA’s objectives are: No More Victims and No One is Disposable – with the firm belief that people who want help CAN change and deserve support to lead a meaningful, crime-free life.
How CoSA Works
The Core Member and three to five community volunteers comprise the Circle. They meet individually and as a group on a regular basis to:
• Support the Core Member’s community reintegration by facilitating his practical needs (i.e. access to medical services, social assistance/financial means, seeking employment/affordable housing, etc.) and by providing a consistent network of emotional support;
• Develop constructive and pro-social strategies and solutions to everyday problems and concerns as well as celebrate successes, and
• Challenge the Core Member’s behaviours and attitudes that may be associated with his offending cycle.