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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Professionally-Facilitated Volunteerism in the Community-Based Management of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: Part One – Effects on Participants and Stakeholders.

Wilson, Robin J
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) The Howard Journal. 46(3):289-302.

This study presents evaluation data from the Circles of Support and
Accountability (COSA) pilot project in South-Central Ontario, Canada – specifically
regarding the effect that COSA has had on the community and those personally involved
in the project. Results suggest that the COSA initiative has had a profound effect on all
stakeholders: offenders, community volunteers, affiliated professionals, and the
community-at-large. Being involved in a COSA appears to have greatly assisted many
high-risk sexual offenders released to the community in remaining crime-free, with many
reporting that they likely would have returned to offending without help from COSA.
Community volunteers involved in the project reported a perceived increase in community
safety as a result of COSA, as well as a belief that Core Members were motivated to
succeed in the community. Professionals and agencies (for example, police officers, social
services professionals, administrators, and other similar professionals) identified
increased offender responsibility and accountability, as well as enhanced community
safety. Survey results obtained from members of the community-at-large showed
substantial increases in perceived community safety in knowing that high-risk sexual
offenders in the community were involved in the project. The results of this study are
discussed within a framework of empowering communities to participate in the effective
risk management of released sexual offenders. (author’s abstract)


AbstractEvaluation/StudyNorth America and CaribbeanRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeTeachers and Students
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