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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220303 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Professionally-Facilitated Volunteerism in the Community-Based Management of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: Part Two--A Comparison of Recidivism Rates
Journal: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:46  Issue:4  Dated:September 2007  Pages:327-337
Author(s): Robin J. Wilson; Janice E. Picheca; Michelle Prinzo
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 11
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study compared the reoffending rates of a group of high-risk sex offenders (n=60) involved in Ontario's (Canada) community-based pilot project called Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) with the reoffending rates of a matched group of high-risk sex offenders (n=60) who did not participate in COSA.
Abstract: The findings show that the offenders who participated in COSA had significantly lower rates of any type of reoffending compared with the offenders who did not participate in COSA. COSA offenders had a 70-percent reduction in sexual reoffending compared with the control group (5 percent compared with 16.7 percent); a 57-percent reduction in all types of violent reoffending including sexual reoffending (15 percent compared with 35 percent); and an overall reduction of 35 percent for all types of reoffending (28.3 percent compared with 43.4 percent). Significant harm-reduction was also found in the COSA sample, in that sexual reoffenses for this group were less severe than the prior offenses by the same individual. This pattern of harm reduction was not found in the control group. These results provide strong evidence that adherence to principles of effective interventions, even when achieved by community volunteers, can significantly influence rates of reoffending. COSA evolved from an effort by a Mennonite pastor from a small urban congregation to organize members of his church in volunteering time to help a repeat child molester in his adjustment to the community upon completing his prison sentence. COSA was developed as a pilot program in order to determine whether such a community-based volunteer program for high-risk sex offenders could be effective in improving public safety. For this evaluation, reoffending was defined as being charged for a new sex offense or for having breached a condition imposed by a court. Only official documentation of reoffending was used. 2 tables and 23 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Canada; Community involvement; Corrections in foreign countries; Corrections volunteers; Recidivism; Reentry; Sex offender treatment; Sex offenders; Volunteer programs; Volunteers
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