Report Offers Evaluation of Restorative Justice-Based Reentry Programs for High Risk Sex Offenders
Date:  11-20-2013

Five Circle of Support and Accountability (COSA) program sites examined for effectiveness
The National Institute of Justice announced the following information on November 19, 2013.

Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) is a restorative justice-based reentry program for high-risk sex offenders with little or no pro-social support. This report outlines an evaluability assessment of COSA across five sites to clarify program intent, explore program reality, examine program data capacity, analyze program fidelity, and propose potential evaluation designs for future evaluation. The authors conducted site visits to five locations that deliver or intend to deliver COSA programs in the United States: Fresno, CA; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Lancaster, PA; and Burlington, VT.

During these visits, they interviewed key program personnel and other stakeholders and collected documented material related to COSA policies and procedures. They then analyzed the collected data using a fidelity item measurement tool. The authors identified five potential obstacles to conducting a successful experimental evaluation of COSA: choice of outcomes; significant differences in program implementation; core member selection issues; sample size, site capacity, and low baselines of recidivism; and ownership of data.

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