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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.


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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.



To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


Community-based approaches to sexual offender reintegration

Perpetration of sexual violence is widespread in Australia, creating long-term negative effects on wellbeing.

Community safety is enhanced through reducing the risk of reoffending by those who have sexually offended.

A key avenue to reducing risk of reoffending is a community-based program model that aims to reintegrate sexual offenders into the community. In Australia, few programs that provide this support have been the subject of research.

This project examined two programs for high-risk sexual offenders reintegrating into the community after a period of incarceration: South Australia’s Circles of Support and Accountability program, and the Cultural Mentoring Program in Townsville, Queensland.

Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with 83 participants, including those who were:

  • currently or recently involved with one of the programs
  • staff or volunteers of one of the programs
  • government, non-government or private stakeholders
  • victims/survivors

An evaluation guide and framework for each of the programs was developed and is included in the report to support the programs in developing better mechanisms for capturing the work that is done and measuring impact on recidivism rates.

The report includes recommendations for policy and practice.



Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports (Horizons) are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

Department of Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England

ISBN:  978-1-925925-23-4 (print) | 978-1-925925-24-1 (online)

158 pp.



Suggested citation

Richards, K., Death, J., & McCartan, K. (2020). Community-based approaches to sexual offender reintegration (Research report, 07/2020). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

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