Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: David Thompson

Circles of Support and Accountability: Countering the Risk Discourse?

My PhD aims to examine how Circles of Support and Accountability contribute to the reintegration of adults convicted of sexual offences who have been released from prison within England and Wales.

Using data collected from semi-structured interviews with those convicted of sexual offences and administrative data on those offenders, my PhD examines Core Members (as the offender is known in the Circle) experiences and perceptions of participating in a Circle of Support and Accountability (CoSA), and how this contributes to their reoffending.

To date, much of the existing research evidence on CoSA provides positive results on the value of CoSA but there has been limited independent qualitative academic research conducted on CoSA in England and Wales.

My research will seek to add to this literature by providing accounts from sex offenders – or core members as they are referred in CoSA – accounts of the ‘circle’ process and how core members feel this has assisted them. I will locate the findings from the interviews and administrative data within contemporary criminological debates.

I am also employed as a research assistant on a larger research project at the University of Leeds which is a National Evaluation of Circles of Support and Accountability in England and Wales and is led by Professor Susanne Karstedt and supported by Professor Terry Thomas.

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