Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending

Volunteer

Adult Services

Circles South West offers three different programmes for Adults (21+)

Circles South West works in partnership with statutory agencies to assist the risk management of those who have perpetrated sexual harm and live in, or are returning to the community via a Circle of Support and Accountability (CoSA).

We offer 3 different programmes for adults (21+):

  1. Community Circles

Community Circles are for adults convicted of sexual offences and living in the community. Circles work with each Core member for 12 months, supporting and holding them to account to live an offence-free life.

  1. ‘Through the Gate’ Prison Circles

‘Through The Gate’ Circles begin while the Core Member is in prison, 3-6 months pre-release, and on into the community a further twelve months post-release.

  1. Circles for those with Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual Disability Circles are for adults with a diagnosis of intellectual disability (an IQ of less than 80)

Each Circle is designed in response to the individual Core Member’s risk and need according to an assessment made in conjunction with the referrer and statutory partners.  The Circle is managed by a qualified criminal justice professional (Circle Coordinator) experienced in working with those who have sexually harmed.  The Circle comprises the Core Member and four/five community volunteers who undertake mandatory training and vetting procedures to ensure suitability for this role.  The Circle meets regularly with the Core Member (usually weekly at the start of the Circle) for 12 months in a risk assessed, confidential community venue.

Prospective Core Members must be committed to no further offending and be prepared to discuss themselves, their previous history, any relapse prevention plans and risk management within the Circles. Offender managers are required to participate in the initial meeting and quarterly reviews thereafter. The central ethos of Circles is honesty and transparency. Core Members must consent to information about themselves being shared confidentially between the referrers, coordinator and volunteers.

Circle objectives are achieved by offering the Core Member a safe space in which to explore their law-abiding and purposeful future goals, develop social skills and consider appropriate employment, volunteering and social opportunities. Referrals can be made by police, probation, youth offending services and health professionals. Referrer involvement is central to the success of each Circle. The local coordinator will undertake interviews with the Core Member to share information about the process, assess risk, need and motivation.

Circles can enhance the work of statutory partners by:

Volunteers will help the Core Member to reintegrate safely and responsibly into the community by:

Volunteers take minutes of each meeting and these are forwarded via the Coordinator to the referrer/offender managers. There is no set agenda for meetings, rather an emphasis on looking towards positive change and moving away from offending or harmful sexual behaviour.  Discussions about what led to criminal behaviour and how s/he will desist in the future are encouraged, learning from any treatment and sharing their relapse prevention plan.  Our volunteers are trained to understand risk management, encouraged to appropriately challenge the Core Member and report any progress and concerns to the coordinator so that these can be forwarded rapidly to offender managers/referring agency.

How To Make A Referral

We invite an initial telephone discussion with the relevant local Circle Coordinator prior to referral. All referrals meeting the stated criteria will be considered with priority given to those assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm and/or reconviction, in consultation with the local MAPPA Coordinator.

Community Circles

Community Circles are for adults convicted of sexual offences. On their release from prison Circles work with them for 12 months in the community, supporting and holding them to account to live an offence-free life.

Through The Gate Circles

‘Through The Gate’ Circles begin while the Core Member is in prison and then for a further twelve months after release.

Intellectual Disabilities Circles

Intellectual Disability Circles are for adults with a diagnosis of intellectual disability (an IQ of less than 80)

Our Funders

CirclesSW
CirclesSW
@ActsFastUK Thank you!
4 July 2022
CirclesSW
CirclesSW
Excellent session this morning with @NgoziLynCole who is supporting us to become a more Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive organisation, supported by @LBFEW Enhance Programme. Now looking at this 👇 https://t.co/RhNV7PoVJO
22 June 2022