The CoSA program typically works with those at the highest risk of reoffending, with the fewest supports and the most challenges. Applicants to the CoSA program are assessed for their suitability based on the following criteria.
- Have they been convicted of at least one sexual offence?
- Do they admit to and take responsibility for committing at least one sexual offence?
- Are they considered a high risk to reoffend based on assessments?
- Do they have high needs?
- Do they lack social supports?
- Are they within 90 days of, or have they passed their end of sentence date?
- Do they consent to the exchange of information between CoSA and the program’s Community Partners?
- Do they agree to share their criminal record with Edmonton CoSA?
- Do they agree to communicate openly with the CoSA program?
- Will they divulge crime cycle factors and triggers that will help them to avoid lapses and re-offences?
- Do they desire to continue in counselling or other programs in the community as recommended by CoSA and other professionals?
Most potential Core Members are bound by various post-release conditions such as a Long-Term Supervision Order (LTSO) or a Section 810. These conditions do not affect Core Member eligibility to participate in the CoSA program. All Core Member selections for a Circle are made in direct consultation with officials from the Correctional Service of Canada and the Edmonton Police Service.
Core Members are usually referred to Edmonton CoSA by the Correctional Service of Canada, the John Howard Society or the Edmonton Police Service. CoSA is open to referrals from other agencies, or through direct application by the offender or former offender.
An initial interview is conducted between a potential Core Member and the CoSA Coordinator. This interview is often facilitated by a chaplain, police officer, parole officer or a case worker.
If the potential Core Members meets the program’s eligibility criteria, the CoSA Coordinator will review the potential Core Member’s files, history and situation and will make inquiries with community partners prior to making a final decision whether or not to accept the potential Core Member.
If the potential Core Member is accepted, a Circle will be formed by matching the new Core Member to a suitable group of trained CoSA volunteers.