The circles of support preventing sex offenders from reoffending

Circles UKcreates circles of support to prevent sex offenders and sexual harm causers from reoffending. It involves fully trained and professionally supported groups of 4-6 volunteers who regularly meet with a sex offender for a period of between a year and 18 months.

It is an intensive support programme and for the first year meetings take place weekly. This is to help sex offenders and/or sexual harm causers take responsibility for their behaviour and to provide the necessary support to enable them to address their complex needs and reintegrate safely into the community after release from prison. Besides their core programme for adults (which is provided for both men and women), they have also developed a Circles programme for young people who have engaged in sexual harm, guidelines for working with people with autism and intellectual disability and are in the process of developing a Circles programme for lower risk people that engage in technology-assisted harmful sexual behaviour.

Research has shown that those who have completed a Circle are less likely to engage in sexual reoffending than those who have not completed a Circle and that a Circle greatly assists the person’s management of risk in the community, thereby keeping the community safer. Circles also help to reduce social isolation which has been found to be a strong factor in sexual reoffending, help participants form appropriate relationships in the community and give practical assistance such as help to secure appropriate accommodation and employment. This is crucial as sex offenders and sexual harm causers are some of the most isolated individuals in society due to the high levels of social stigma that is attached to their harmful acts. They are often shunned by family, spouses, friends and other support networks.

Contact: Riana Taylor – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 0118 950 0068

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