Source: (2001) Corrections Today 63(5).

In Canada, there have been two recent developments regarding supervision of conditionally released offenders. The first relates to releasing offenders at the expiration of their sentences and, in the case of sex offenders, provision of community notification and, where appropriate, forming circles of accountability and support to aid in managing those offenders' return to the community. The second class of released offenders who need attention is the growing number of those who fail to qualify for parole (conditional release) and are not considered serious enough risks to warrant detention in prison until sentence expiration. Building on the success of the circles of support and accountability, a parole service official and a clinical psychologist designed a program that involves volunteers as mentors for high-risk offenders who are released statutorily rather than conditionally. The mentors act as a support network and give advice and assistance to offenders, usually about specific needs such as finding employment, securing housing, or working with financial institutions. Mentors come from faith-based and aboriginal communities, as well as from colleges and universities, and also may be interested citizens who are committed to helping offenders reestablish themselves in the community.