Update: In 2017, the Canadian Government announced new funding for CoSA. Learn more about the program and announcement.
MCC calls on the Correctional Services of Canada to reverse the funding cuts to Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) projects across the country. CoSA programs dramatically reduce the rate of sexual and other kinds of re-offence. Cutting support to CoSA is a threat to public safety.
On Feb. 20, 2014 Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) informed MCC that funding contracts for our Circles of Support and Accountability will be terminated at the end of March 2014. All other CoSA sites that receive government funding have also had their contracts terminated.
Through CoSA programs teams of volunteers, supported by professionals, meet with former sexual offenders to hold them accountable for their actions and help them reintegrate into the community after release from prison.
MCC received funding from CSC for our CoSA programs in Ontario, $325,000 annually, and Alberta $25,000 annually. In addition, MCC provides financial support to CoSA projects in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Without the government funding these programs will need to be reduced, leaving communities at risk and offenders without the support they need.
“MCC’s long history with CoSAs have shown they are the best way to protect public safety, working with dangerous offenders in the most cost-effective way while also providing a chance for someone who has sexually offended to turn their life around and live offence free,” says Stephen Siemens, restorative justice coordinator for MCC Canada.
MCC calls on CSC to reverse these funding cuts and continue to support the work of Circles of Support and Accountability across Canada.