Source: (2011) International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Published online before print December 26, 2011, doi: 10.1177/0306624X11432538.

Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) is a restorative justice–based model that originated in Canada in the mid-1990s for the postincarceration reintegration of those who have offended sexually. Although the roots of COSA are in restorative justice philosophy, the program has also found favour, to some degree, with organisations such as police services and corrections that are traditionally concerned more with protecting community safety than with the ideals of restorative justice. Informed by the author’s research and personal experience as a COSA volunteer, and analysis of recent and historical representations of COSA, this article explores theoretically how the development of the COSA initiative has been influenced by the seemingly disparate concerns of both the restorative justice and community protection movements, and examines the importance of balancing these paradigms in the everyday practices of circles. (Author's abstract)