Circles of Support and Mentoring

Circles of Support and Accountability

Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) are a successful community initiative proven to reduce sexual offending. A Circle is a group of 3-4 volunteers from a local community who meet regularly with a person with a sexual conviction after release (known as the Core Member) to offer social, practical and emotional support, in addition to monitoring and supervision. The volunteers create the Circle of Support around the Core Member and offer, with supervision, social and practical support to the individual. For more details about the origins of Circles and Circles UK click here.

If you would like to make a referral for an adult please complete our referral form and email it back to us at ku.vog.ecitsujnull@nottahWPMHFLS.

Lincolnshire Community Circles and Mentoring

In November 2015 a separate Lincolnshire project was also awarded a grant from the Big Lottery to run community based Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) within Lincolnshire. This project has been successful in running CoSAs in Lincolnshire and in October 2019 responsibility for the delivery of the Lincolnshire project was taken over by the Safer Living Foundation.

Lincolnshire interventions include:

  • Circles of Support and Accountability
  • Paired Mentoring for those who have committed a sexual offence and who fit the criteria for a CoSA but do not need such long-term support
  • Short term one-to-one interventions can also be offered

Lincolnshire core member referral criteria

  • Adult who has been convicted of a sexual offence
  • Socially isolated and emotionally lonely
  • Does not maintain innocence of offence(s)
  • Commitment to live an offence free life

If you would like to make a referral for an adult please complete our referral form and email it back to us at ku.vog.ecitsujnull@nottahWPMHFLS.

Do Circles work?

Circles provide a unique and supportive social network to counteract the isolation that can be such a dangerous factor in leading to further sexual offences. They encourage and enable offenders to develop appropriate social activities and share in the life of the community, allowing for successful and crime-free reintegration back into society.

Sexual and/or violent reoffending rates are reported to be 15% (Barnett et al., 2010). Through taking part in a Circle, this can be significantly reduced, with Circles proven to reduce sexual reoffending by 83% and both sexual and violent reoffending by approximately 70% (Wilson et al., 2009).

“It’s not an easy ride for the released people who have committed a sexual offence, but at least Circles gives them some hope, and volunteers doing this in their spare time is remarkable. I salute them.”

Lord Ian Blair

We are currently recruiting volunteers for both our adult and young people’s projects. If you are interested in joining us, click here for more information.

Support for Circles of Support and Mentoring

We are grateful to have received support for these projects from:

The Allen Lane Foundation

Big Lottery Fund

The Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation

Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust

Lloyds Bank Foundation England & Wales

Lincolnshire Police & Crime Commissioner

People's Postcode Lottery / People's Postcode Trust

A B Charitable Trust