First International COSA Conference

On 20-21 November 2014 the First International COSA Conference was held in Barcelona (Spain). This conference took place in the framework of the European project Circles4EU. The conference was an ideal opportunity to learn about COSA, how it works and why it works, and what the critical elements for successful implementation are. 

Circles Of Support & Accountability (COSA, or Circles) is a unique and innovative community justice initiative for post-release monitoring of medium- and high-risk sex offenders in and by the community. Founded on the principles of restorative justice in Canada in 1994, the method entails that a sex offender (the core member) after release is regularly visited by three to six volunteers (the inner circle), preferably from the local community. The inner circle assists the core member resettling in the community by stimulating pro-social behaviour and by providing support and practical help. However, the inner circles volunteers are also trained to recognize behaviour indicating increased risk with the core member.

Click here to download the conference programme. 

This formed the basis for the new project Circles4EU (browse this website for more  information), in which COSA is further implemented in Europe with pilots in Bulgaria, Latvia and Catalonia, while implementation in France, Hungary and Ireland is being prepared. The project results will be presented at  the conference.