About Circles of Support and Accountability were initially developed in the early nineties in Ontario, and within Person-to-Person in 1997. Circles were developed as a restorative justice response to the fear and outcry of the Canadian public's reaction to the release of high-risk sexual offenders.
A CoSA is comprised of a "core member," the high-risk released sexual offender, and 3 - 5 capable volunteers who commit themselves to an intense relationship of supportive friendship with the core member. "No More Victims" is the primary goal of CoSA, as well as healthy reintegration into the community, and each core member must commit himself to this.
You can find out more info on CoSA and the network of CoSA's across Canada by visiting cosacanada.com
Evaluation CoSA's are successful because the core member usually wants to cooperate, because he no longer wants to create victims, he values the friendships offered and he has an avenue to vent stresses that would otherwise be bottled up, or released through criminal behaviour. In a recent study by Wilson, Picheca & Prinzo Circles of Support and Accountability: An Evaluation of the Pilot Project in South Central Ontario, they found that high risk sex offenders participating in CoSA were 83% less likely to reoffend than high risk offenders without CoSA. Those interested in becoming a CoSA volunteer in the Prince Albert region, please fill in the form below.