Circles Reboot

Circles UK is a registered charity and the national body supporting the development, quality,
coordination and effectiveness of Providers of Circles of Support and Accountability (Circles). A
Circle is aimed at supporting the rehabilitation and societal reintegration of individuals convicted of
a sexual offence: The individual (Core Member) is supported by a group of carefully selected and
trained Volunteers to build on their strengths and protective factors against offending and to
encourage positive changes in the Core Members’ lives, and, in so doing, reduce the risks of
reoffending. Each Circle is overseen by a dedicated Coordinator.

In 2020, Circles UK developed Circles ReBoot, a Circle format targeted specifically at individuals
with a history of accessing online child sexual exploitation material (Circles ReBoot – Circles UK
(circles-uk.org.uk). In line with the Risk Need Responsivity principles (Bonta & Andrews, 2007),
Circles ReBoot is (a) shorter than a “traditional” Circle (12 sessions over a 6-month period) and (b)
offers a more structured format, focused on achieving goals and fostering skills development. The
aim is for Core Members and Volunteers to work through the sessions to enable Core Members to
live more healthily and prosocially deal with challenges they face in the community and pursue a
proactively offence-free lifestyle. The programme methodology is based on a desistance approach,
which advocates focusing on supporting the individual to identify and develop strengths that enable
desistance from offending behaviour (e.g., Marshall & Marshall, 2012).

Feedback for Circles Reboot:

Comments by Core Members:
I’ve actually been going out into social situations, alone, [by] myself, and things like that which is
incredible for me, who’s been a self-isolating loner.

Only positive things have come out of it.

The last thing I was expecting to get out of it was confidence, which is something I haven’t had my
whole life and I’m actually really confident after this whole course.

Comments by Volunteers:
Yeah, socially he improved quite a lot which was not necessarily something we were expecting …
towards the end of the process he had way more eye contact, he was talking more, even starting
conversations with me yesterday which was …a big, a big thing.

I think any time spent supporting a person who’s isolated, and just opening up that bubble that
they’re in and putting some oxygen in there, is just such a powerful thing.

Comments by Coordinators:
His Probation Officer came along (to the review) and just said how he’d been transformed, how he
made eye contact with everybody when he came into the Probation Office now as well as the
Circle and how she thought he’d been a transformed character… physically his body language was
more relaxed and comfortable and engaging, he brought Easter eggs for the Volunteers at the last
meeting as a goodbye which was a very positive sign and socially adept, I’d describe it as just the
clunkiness just seemed to go from him.

I think the really significant one for me was at the beginning in interview, he said ‘there’s no way I’m
ever going to work, there’s no way, I’m not capable of work, I don’t want to work’, blah, blah, blah
and at the end he was actively looking for either voluntary or paid employment and I just thought
that was fantastic really.

If you would like to receive support from, or would like more information on Circles South East or Circles Reboot and live in London and the South East please contact: 

info@circlessoutheast.org.uk – Telephone: 01235 816050

For all other areas of the UK please contact 

Circles UK

Abbey House/Abbey Square
Reading RG1 3BE
United Kingdom

0118 950 0068 or via online contact at: Contact us – Circles UK (circles-uk.org.uk)