Back to RJ Archive

Releasing Sex Offenders Into the Community Through “Circles of Support” — A Means of Reintegrating the “Worst of the Worst”

Cesaroni, Carla
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. 34(2): 85-98.

Using the philosophy of restorative justice, the Mennonite Central Committee, Ontario, created a program entitled Circles of Support and Accountability. The program attempts to return sex offenders to the community in a productive, supportive fashion while still holding the ex-offender accountable. Volunteers, primarily from the faith community, assist with practical life-skills, emotional needs and in mediation with the wider community. Most ex-offenders appear to join a Circle as a means of self-protection. All seem aware of the reality that often surrounds the release of a high-profile sex offender. A number of former Circle members have indicated that they would have returned to a lifestyle conducive to re-offending had it not been for the Circles. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


AbstractNorth America and CaribbeanPrisonsRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now