CJRC researcher Dr Kelly Richards from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, has recently been featured in ABC’s Lateline program discussing COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) with child sex offenders.
COSA’s premise is simple, but confronting: A group of four to six volunteers form a “circle” around the paedophile, who is referred to as the “core member”.
They spend time each week to doing everyday activities together like going out for coffee, doing groceries, applying for jobs, or just chatting.
These circles are designed to encourage the sex offenders to have normal, adult relationships and keep them accountable for their actions.
Dr Richards says COSA works because it removes the secrecy in which child abuse thrives.
“What COSA do is break down that secrecy so the offender is not able to live alone and behave as they please,” she said.
“They suddenly have five or six supportive volunteers who are checking in on a daily basis, spending time with the offender, and making sure that they know what the offender is up to.”
To watch the video, click here.
To read the ABC news article, click here.