Letter to The Honourable Steven Blaney
07 Mar, 2015
Dear Mr. Blaney,
I wish to express concern about the cuts to funding for Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) taking effect on March 31, 2015. As you should know, CoSA “is a community-based reintegration program that holds federal sex offenders accountable for the harm they have caused while supporting their task of re-entry to communities at the end of their sentences.” Offenders are already supervised following their release until their warrant expiry date (WED) and for Long Term Supervision Orders by parole programs. The primary focus of the CoSA program is its ongoing involvement with offenders who have reached their WED. Research sponsored by the Federal Government in the past five years has demonstrated that the work of CoSA has been effective in reducing recidivism among participating offenders by 70-83% when compared to offenders who do not participate in the program. It further demonstrated that for every dollar of federal government support there is a saving of over four dollars of federal expense because of the reduction in recidivism.
Mr. Blaney, I am a grandparent to three young children and I know many other children in my neighbourhood, all of whom I do not wish to see victimized. I am a taxpayer who wishes to see those taxes spent well. The evidence from your own department’s research clearly demonstrates that CoSA significantly reduces the risk of victimization for children and significantly reduces costs incurred due to further incarceration. You are a minister in a government that has repeatedly stated its commitment to making safer communities and to fiscal responsibility. Your decision to cut funding to CoSA flies in the face of those statements and calls the credibility of your government and your department into serious question. In fact it demonstrates disregard for the safety of the people you govern, particularly children, and a lack of commitment to fiscal responsibility.
I am very disappointed!