Circles of Support and Accountability - Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire

Circles of Support and Accountability - Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire

At a glance


  • Criminal justice

Other details

Geographical remit: 


YHCOSA is a community based response to the problem of sexual offending.  There is increasing empirical evidence that social isolation and emotional loneliness are key risk factors leading to recidivism amongst sexual offenders.  A sexual offender living the community can, through public fear, be marginalized and isolated.  This solitude and seclusion negates the objectives of treatment and rehabilitation. 

The primary aim of YHLCOSA is to prevent further sexual abuse, working with the objective of ‘no more victims’. 

This is done by;

* Helping a sexual offender to reintegrate responsibly into the community

* Acting as a support and safety mechanism for both the sexual offender and the community.

* Holding the offender to account, working closely with their supervising police and probation officer  

* Enhancing public safety when there is a perceived element of risk


YHLCOSA is a community response to sexual offending, working in partnership with criminal justice agencies.

We live in a society where sexual abuse provokes powerful responses within communities. The successful rehabilitation and reintegration of a sex offender requires consideration of their own needs, the victim’s needs and those of the community, for the safety of everyone.

Identifying suitable members of the public to monitor and support a sex offender has proved to be an extremely effective way to reduce the risks to all involved.

Social isolation and emotional loneliness are key factors in increasing the risk of re-offending. Our carefully selected and trained volunteers provide core members with responsible opportunities for safe and constructive reintegration, acting as a support and safety mechanism for both the offender and the community.

A Circle involves 4-6 volunteers meeting as a group with a core member (ex-offender) initially on a weekly basis, often in a community centre, church hall or other "neutral venue". The Circle will provide practical and emotional support to the core member and support them to overcome any barriers to their leading a safe, positive and productive life. The volunteers will also hold the core member to account for any behaviours they are displaying which cause concern or alarm. The Circle works closely with the probation service, the police and other criminal justice agencies and would share any concerns with these agencies as part of our commitment to "no secrets".

The concept of Circles began in Canada in the mid-90s and came to Britain 10 years ago. There is much research evidence being built up supporting the Circles model as an effective way of reducing the risk of reoffending and producing positive outcomes for the core members

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