When people with high risk offence cycles return to communities after completing a prison sentence, they often receive limited support or treatment and may have few, if any, healthy relationships. This environment of isolation is a major trigger of re-offence and therefore gives these people little to no chance for rehabilitation or integration back into the community.
CoSA offers an alternative strategy that creates a caring community around people at high risk to re-offend who, more often than not, would feel fearful and isolated. While much of society considers people with high risk of re-offence as hopeless, CoSA seeks to respond with constructive integration based heavily on the philosophy of Restorative Justice.
Restorative Justice plays an important role in this response to crime that focuses on: responding to the losses suffered by those who have been victimized; holding those who have offended accountable for the harm they have caused; aiding in identifying, developing and implementing healthier ways of living; and building peace within communities.
At the centre of every circle is its Core Member, a person released from prison with high risk of re-offence. This Core Member voluntarily seeks a Circle of Support and is included from the beginning in all decision-making regarding her/his healthy integration into the community. Trained Circle Support members and the Core Member create a Circle Agreement that establishes expectations and responsibilities of all members of the support circle.