What lessons can Belgium learn from a quarter century of Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA)? A reflection on the effectiveness and the underlying principles of CoSA.

Katarzyna Uzieblo, Liesbeth Merckx, Tine Vertommen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sex offenders are upon release usually confronted with suspicion, apprehension, and hostility by the community, including their own social network. Consequently, they often experience feelings of loneliness and a loss of social support. The Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) program aims to address these issues by offering social and practical support during the sex offenders’ transition from prison into the community. The aim of the current article is twofold. First, it aims to give an overview of the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of CoSA. The second aim is to analyse to what extent the CoSA model adheres to the principles of the Risk-Need-Responsivity model (RNR; Andrews & Bonta, 2010) and the Good Lives Model (GLM; Ward & Stewart, 2003). Based on these theoretical analyses suggestions will be formulated for the further optimization of the CoSA-projects in Belgium as well as for future studies on CoSA’s efficacy.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)489-506
JournalPanopticon: Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht, Criminologie en Forensisch Welzijnswerk
Volume39
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Circles of Support and Accountability
  • Reintegration
  • Sex Offenders

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