I have considerable experience with CoSA, having been involved in the processes that led to the original project in South-Central Ontario in Canada. My website http://www.robinjwilson.com has a tab specifically for CoSA.
As to its use with other populations, I am currently collaborating with Kathy Fox from Vermont on a research evaluation of their CoSA projects,which also include violent and general offenders. Preliminary results suggest that the effects are comparable.
There are CoSA projects all across Canada, throughout the UK, in several EU jurisdictions, in NZ, and there are also approximately 8 projects in the USA. I work as a consultant and trainer to CoSA projects worldwide.
Thank you for your question. I have reached out to two different sources to get further information for you on Circles of Support for non-SO populations. I did hear back from one source who asked if they could send a response in a few weeks as they are under a tight deadline. I just wanted you to know that The Carey Group is aware of agencies using this model with non-SO offenders and are working on getting you a reply.
I hope this finds you well. Thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with others in an open forum setting. What a valuable resource!
I have been reading through the research on Circles of Accountability and Support (CoSA) and it seems clear that this model works well with the sex offender population. If you aren’t familiar with CoSA, the following website has some good information http://www.cosa-recovery.org/states/Colorado.html.
As we look to enhance our programming and think about how to include the community in what we are doing, I am wondering why we wouldn’t replicate this model with other types of clients. While we don’t take SOs at our facilities, our clients struggle with building positive, lasting relationship in the community. They often don’t know where to start and don’t trust that community members will accept them if they are honest.
Has anyone implemented a CoSA type group with non-SOs? If so, how did it go? I am curious about how to go about recruiting interested community members and what type of training and support to provide for them. Also, I would like to be tracking outcome measures from the outset and while the research provides some guidance here, I would imagine that CoSA for non-SOs would look different.