A Circle of Support and Accountability is a group of trained volunteers who meet on a regular basis with a high risk sex offender living in their community. This innovative strategy, which helps the offender both to maintain accountability and reintegrate into the community, is proven to be effective in combating child sexual abuse.
This book explains this pioneering approach to managing the behaviour of sex offenders in the community. It provides an overview of sexual abuse, sex offenders and their management, and the Circles approach. The authors set out the development of Circles since they were first started in Canada, the principles of Circles and how they work in practice, and evidence and evaluation of their effectiveness. The use of Circles is brought to life by testimonies from four sex offenders and four volunteers who tell, often movingly, why they joined a Circle, their experiences, and the effects upon them.
This unique book, on a ground-breaking approach to managing sex offenders, will be of great interest to professionals across social care and the criminal justice system, including prison and probation services, the police, social workers, counsellors and all those working with sex offenders, including volunteers.
Stephen Hanvey is Chief Executive of Circles UK, the national body supporting the development, quality, coordination and effectiveness of local Circles. He is also a qualified social worker. Terry Philpot is a journalist and writer, and has written and edited several books on subjects including adoption, sex offending and work with children traumatised through abuse. He also works as a volunteer to befriend long-term prisoners. Chris Wilson is National Development Manager of Circles UK. He was instrumental in adapting the Canadian Circles model to a British context, and is also a qualified social worker. Circles UK won the Social Care and Welfare category at the Charity Awards 2011.
Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. The Beginning of the Circle: A History of Circles of Support and Accountability. 2. A Man Like Others? What We Know About Sex Offenders. 3. Managing the Problem: Working with People Convicted of Sexual Offences. 4. Within the Circle: The Realities of Practice. 5. The Men's Stories and the Volunteers' Stories. 6. But Does it Work? Evaluation and Evidence. 7. Publish and Damn: The Media and Sex Offending. Endnotes. References. About the Authors. Subject Index. Author Index.