Dutch ex-paedophiles under full surveillance
The Netherlands' probation and after-care service has said it will extend its surveillance of convicted paedophiles after their discharge from prison. Volunteers will keep an eye on released paedophiles to prevent them from relapsing into their old ways.
A test with the system in the southern city of Den Bosch proved successful, upon which the probation service decided to go nationwide with its scheme. Each released sex criminal will be assigned a group of volunteers who will will keep in touch with him. The approach is known as "Circles of Support and Accountability COSA".
On its website the Dutch probation service explains that "by becoming involved in the former delinquent's social life, the chances of a relapse are reduced. The risk of new crimes becomes smaller, as the volunteers can pick up early signals of a return to criminal behaviour. They will then alert professional probation workers." The service is recruiting volunteers to form new surveillance groups in several cities.
Similar projects in Canada and the United Kingdom turned out to reduce paedophile recidivism by up to 70 percent. The method was developed in Canada in 1994. The COSA project in the Netherlands is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Justice.
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