WHAT IS CIRCLES OF SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY?
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) is a reintegration initiative, operating on restorative justice principles, that assists individuals who have served a prison sentence for a sexual offence(s) in their effort to re-enter society. These individuals, who we refer to as Core Members, participate in the program voluntarily, so are not mandated by the judicial system. CoSA-Ottawa is one of currently 15 Canadian sites operating a CoSA program, representing approximately 150 to 200 circles and 700 volunteers.
The Core Member and three to five trained and screened community volunteers comprise a Circle. They meet as a group and individually on a regular basis to:
- Support the Core Member’s community integration by facilitating his practical needs (i.e. access to medical services, social assistance, seeking employment, affordable housing, etc.) and by providing a consistent network of emotional support;
- Develop constructive and pro-social strategies and solutions to everyday problems and concerns;
- Challenge the Core Member’s behaviours and attitudes that may be associated with his offending cycle;
- Celebrate successes.
Board of Directors
Officers:President: Emmy Verdun, Economist, Retired Public Servant Vice President:
Cliff Yumansky, Retired Federal Public Service Treasurer: Sharon Rouleau, Finance Assistant, Shepherds of Good Hope, and former Circle Volunteer Secretary:
Tara McWhinney, PhD Candidate, Social Sciences
Directors:Alice Doell, Retired Pharmacist and current Circle Volunteer Kerry Lamming, Retired High School Principal and current Circle Volunteer Sarah Starkie, Defense Lawyer Nicole St. John, Sergeant, Investigations, Ottawa Police Service Board of Directors 2018
L-R Front: Sharon Rouleau, Tara McWhinney, Alice Doell,
L-R Back: Kerry Lamming, Emmy Verdun, Sarah Starkie, Cliff Yumansky
Missing: Nicole St. John
(Updated May, 2018)
We have moved!
Effective August 28, 2017 our new address is:
211 Bronson Ave (the Bronson Centre), #207A, Ottawa, K1R 6H5 (613 288-2284)