INTRODUCTION & CONTEXT
Circles of Support and Accountability [CoSA] are groups of trained community volunteers who support people convicted of a sexual offence (usually contact offences against children) to integrate back into the community post-release. CoSA programs operate on the premise that by providing recently-released Core Members (people convicted of a sexual offence, CM) with a Circle of 4 -5 community volunteers who provide both practical support and accountability, they will be better equipped to lead law-abiding lives in the community. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual face-to-face sessions were not possible.
AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
This research looks to investigate the impact that COVID-19, mainly social distancing and remote working, has had on CoSA provision and providers in Europe, the USA, and Canada and the potential impact of the pandemic on Circle processes moving forward.