After I wrote the last post, I was pointed to this article in the Independent on Sunday about a program of caring for sex offenders through friendship groups. The organization, Circles UK, develops these groups around offenders in order to build relationship and accountability. The article says that over a 4.5 year period, none of the Circles offender re-offended where a control group of the same size committed 10 new offenses in the same period.
As you can easily imagine, most sex offenders lose their entire support system. Loneliness and isolation can only lead to temptations to connect through offenses. If anyone is interested in supporting offenders and reducing recidivism, check out the program. While it is UK-based, it shouldn’t be hard for a church to decide to follow the same pattern.
- Pastoral Counseling for Sex Offenders: 3 Dos and 3 Don’ts (wisecounsel.wordpress.com)