Skip to main content

Circles of Support and Accountability, Assisted Desistance and Community Transition

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Sexual Crime and Circles of Support and Accountability

Part of the book series: Sexual Crime ((SEXCR))

Abstract

This chapter will focus on what we know about sexual offending and desistence from sexual crime. It will contain a summary of sexual offending from a psychologist’s point of view. Both historical psychological studies and more recent developments of thinking in this area will be explored, including seminal theories of sexual offending and desistance. These are explored in relation to Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), and how CoSA can assist in desistance from crime where prison rehabilitation falls short. Recent research findings will be incorporated and implications for treatment and promoting desistance from crime will be explored.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

eBook
USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Arrigo, B. A., & Takahashi, Y. (2006). Recommunalization of the disenfranchised: A theoretical and critical criminological inquiry. Theoretical Criminology, 10(3), 307–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bates, A., Macrae, R., Williams, D., & Webb, C. (2012). Ever-increasing circles: A descriptive study of Hampshire and Thames Valley circles of support and accountability 2002–09. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 18(3), 355–373.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blagden, N., & Perrin, C. (2016). ‘Relax lads, you’re in safe hands here’: Experiences of a sexual offender treatment prison. In C. Reeves (Ed.), Experiencing prison (pp. 27–45). Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blagden, N., Perrin, C., Smith, S., Gleeson, F., & Gillies, L. (2017). “A different world” exploring and understanding the climate of a recently re-rolled sexual offender prison. Journal of Sexual Aggression. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2016.1264633

  • Blagden, N., Winder, B., & Hames, C. (2014). “They treat us like human beings”—Experiencing a therapeutic sex offenders prison impact on prisoners and staff and implications for treatment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 60, 371–396. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X14553227

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Blagden, N. J., Winder, B., Thorne, K., & Gregson, M. (2011). ‘No-one in the world would ever wanna speak to me again’: An interpretative phenomenological analysis into convicted sexual offenders accounts and experiences of maintaining and leaving denial. Psychology, Crime & Law, 17(7), 563–585.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Braden, M., Göbbels, S., Willis, G. M., Ward, T., Costeletos, M., & Mollica, J. (2012). Creating social capital and reducing harm: Corrections Victoria support and awareness groups. Sexual Abuse in Australia and New Zealand, 4(2), 36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Braithwaite, J. (1989). Crime, shame and reintegration. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Brown, S. (1999). Public attitudes toward the treatment of sex offenders. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4(2), 239–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burnett, R., & McNeill, F. (2005). The place of the officer-offender relationship in assisting offenders to desist from crime. Probation Journal, 52(3), 221–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cesaroni, C. (2001). Releasing sex offenders into the community through “circles of support”—A means of reintegrating the “worst of the worst”. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 34(2), 85–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chiricos, T., Barrick, K., & Bales, W. (2007). The labelling of convicted felons and its consequences for recidivism. Criminology, 45(3), 547–581.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Craig, L. A. (2005). The impact of training on attitudes towards sex offenders. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 11(2), 197–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Vries Robbé, M., Mann, R. E., Maruna, S., & Thornton, D. (2015). An exploration of protective factors supporting desistance from sexual offending. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 27(1), 16–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elliott, I. A., & Zajac, G. (2015). The implementation of circles of support and accountability in the United States. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 25, 113–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Farmer, M., Beech, A. R., & Ward, T. (2012). Assessing desistance in child molesters: A qualitative analysis. Journal of interpersonal Violence, 27(5), 930–950.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Farmer, M., McAlinden, A. M., & Maruna, S. (2016). Sex offending and situational motivation: Findings from a qualitative analysis of desistance from sexual offending. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 60(15), 1756–1775.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fox, K. J. (2015). Theorizing community integration as desistance-promotion. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(1), 82–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Friestad, C. (2012). Making sense, making good, or making meaning? Cognitive distortions as targets of change in offender treatment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56(3), 465–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Garland, D. (2001). The culture of control (Vol. 367). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Göbbels, S., Ward, T., & Willis, G. M. (2012). An integrative theory of desistance from sex offending. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 17(5), 453–462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hannem, S. (2011). Experiences in reconciling risk management and restorative justice: How circles of support and accountability work restoratively in the risk society. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 57(3), 269–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Höing, M., Bogaerts, S., & Vogelvang, B. (2013). Circles of support and accountability: How and why they work for sex offenders. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 13(4), 267–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Höing, M., Vogelvang, B., & Bogaerts, S. (2015). “I am a different man now”—Sex offenders in circles of support and accountability: A prospective study. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 61(7), 751–722.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Horvath, A. O., & Greenberg, L. S. (1989). Development and validation of the working alliance inventory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 36(2), 223–233. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.36.2.223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Horvath, A. O., & Luborsky, L. (1993). The role of the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61(4), 561–573. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.61.4.561

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Irwin, J., & Owen, B. (2005). Harm and the contemporary prison. In A. Liebling & S. Maruna (Eds.), The effects of imprisonment (pp. 94–117). London: Willan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kewley, S. (2017). Strength based approaches and protective factors from a criminological perspective. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 32, 11–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kitson-Boyce, R., Blagden, N., Winder, B., & Dillon, G. (2016). The CoSA prison-model: Supporting the transition from prison to community. In 16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology 2016, University of Münster, Münster, Germany, 21–24 September.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kjelsberg, E., & Loos, L. H. (2008). Conciliation or condemnation? Prison employees’ and young peoples’ attitudes towards sexual offender. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 7(1), 95–103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • LeBel, T. P., Burnett, R., Maruna, S., & Bushway, S. (2008). The chicken and egg’of subjective and social factors in desistance from crime. European Journal of Criminology, 5(2), 131–159.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levenson, J. S., & Cotter, L. P. (2005). The effect of Megan’s Law on sex offender reintegration. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 21(1), 49–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maruna, S. (2001). Making good: How ex-convicts reform and rebuild their lives. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Maruna, S. (2004). Desistance from crime and explanatory style: A new direction in the psychology of reform. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 20(2), 184–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maruna, S., & LeBel, T. P. (2002). Welcome home? Examining the “reentry court” concept from a strengths-based perspective. Western Criminology Review, 4, 91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maruna, S., LeBel, T., Naples, M., & Mitchell, N. (2009). Looking-glass identity transformation: Pygmalion and Golem in the rehabilitation process. In How offenders transform their lives (pp. 30–55). Cullompton, UK: Willan.

    Google Scholar 

  • McAdams, D. P. (2006a). The redemptive self: Generativity and the stories Americans live by. Research in Human Development, 3(2–3), 81–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McAdams, D. P. (2006b). The role of narrative in personality psychology today. Narrative Inquiry, 16(1), 11–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McAlinden, A. M. (2007). The shaming of individuals with sexual crime convictions: Risk, retribution and reintegration. Bloomsbury Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCulloch, T. (2005). Probation, social context and desistance: Retracing the relationship. Probation Journal, 52(1), 8–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McNeill, F. (2014, May). Desistance, rehabilitation and reintegration. In J. Shapland (Chair), How best to stop offenders re-offending and reintegrate them into civil society. Symposium conducted at the seminar series of the University of Sheffield Centre for Criminological Research, London, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mead, S., Hilton, D., & Curtis, L. (2001). Peer support: A theoretical perspective. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 25(2), 134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paternoster, R., & Bushway, S. (2009). Desistance and the “feared self”: Toward an identity theory of criminal desistance. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 99, 1103–1156.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perrin, C., & Blagden, N. (2014). Accumulating meaning, purpose and opportunities to change ‘drip by drip’: The impact of being a listener in prison. Psychology, Crime & Law, 20(9), 902–920.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Petrunik, M. (2003). The hare and the tortoise: Dangerousness and sex offender policy in the United States and Canada. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 45, 43–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Purvis, M. (2010). Seeking a good life: Human goods and sexual offending. Germany: Lambert Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, C. R. (1951). Client-centered therapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Silverman, J., & Wilson, D. (2002). Innocence betrayed: Paedophilia, the media and society. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stone, R. (2015). Desistance and identity repair: Redemption narratives as resistance to stigma. British Journal of Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1093/BJC/AZV081

  • Tate, H., Blagden, N., & Mann, R. (in press). Evaluation the five minute intervention. London: MoJ.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ullrich, S., & Coid, J. (2011). Protective factors for violence among released prisoners—Effects over time and interactions with static risk. Journal of Consulting and Clinical psychology, 79(3), 381.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vaughan, B. (2007). The internal narrative of desistance. British Journal of Criminology, 47(3), 390–404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward, T. (2002a). Good lives and the rehabilitation of offenders: Promises and problems. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7(5), 513–528.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward, T. (2002b). The management of risk and the design of good lives. Australian Psychologist, 37, 172–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward, T., & Brown, M. (2004). The good lives model and conceptual issues in offender rehabilitation. Psychology, Crime, & Law, 10, 243–257.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward, T., & Marshall, B. (2007). Narrative identity and offender rehabilitation. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 51(3), 279–297.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward, T., & Stewart, C. A. (2003). The treatment of sex offenders: Risk management and good lives. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34, 353–360.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weaver, B. (2015). Offending and desistance: The importance of social relations (Vol. 8). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weaver, B., & McNeill, F. (2015). Lifelines: Desistance, social relations, and reciprocity. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(1), 95–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, R. J., Cortoni, F., & McWhinnie, A. J. (2009). Circles of support & accountability: A Canadian national replication of outcome findings. Sexual Abuse, 21(4), 412–430.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, R. J., & Yates, P. M. (2009). Effective interventions and the Good Lives Model: Maximizing treatment gains for individuals with sexual crime convictions. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(3), 157–161.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Youssef, C., Casey, S., & Birgden, A. (2017). Potential underpinnings for community maintenance programs for individuals with sexual crime convictions. Aggression and Violent Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.05.002

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Blagden, N., Elliott, H., Lievesley, R. (2018). Circles of Support and Accountability, Assisted Desistance and Community Transition. In: Elliott, H., Hocken, K., Lievesley, R., Blagden, N., Winder, B., Banyard, P. (eds) Sexual Crime and Circles of Support and Accountability. Sexual Crime. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74823-8_2

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics