For the past 20 years, Circles of Support and Accountability has worked to build safer communities by walking with individuals who have offended sexually. Funded primarily through a contract with Correctional Service of Canada, with additional funding through National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and other generous individuals through MCCO, our funding with NCPC has now come to the end of its five year commitment. This funding has accounted for 30% of our Circles of Support and Accountability budget. We have been searching for alternatives to replace this loss of funding but so far, have yet to find any. We are looking to expand our circle of support by inviting individuals to give financially to assist us with this immediate need and to introduce us to others who would be supportive of this ministry.
Our core members (offenders) often say that if it wasn’t for “Circles” they would be unable to safely cope in the community and would have reoffended. In the words of one program participant:
“When you come out of prison, I found that I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t belong in the city that I used to live in. I don’t belong in this city where I moved. I don’t belong anywhere. My friends are all gone, you have no more friends, and so Circles of Support is kind of like that anchor that you can hold on to. They’re people that you know, they’re people that you can get on the phone and contact. And I can’t stress how important that is when you feel alone. And you really have to be in that position to understand what I mean when I say you feel alone.”
With you we can continue to build safer and healthier communities! For more information about how to support this work please contact Eileen Henderson at 905-464-3940. mcco.ca/restorativejusticeontario