Back to All Events

Screening and Discussion of "Coming Home"

  • East Side Freedom Library 1105 Greenbrier Street Saint Paul, MN, 55106 United States (map)

The East Side Freedom Library and the Circle of Support and Accountability Program of the Minnesota Department of Corrections invite you to watch and discuss "Coming Home."

Coming Home is a documentary film focused on five people returning back to their Vermont communities from prison. The film focuses on the innovative COSA program (Circle of Support and Accountability) that helps reintegrate folks back into their daily lives. It provides an intimate and personal window into institutions, systems, and legal processes.

COSA is a Restorative Justice unit in the Department of Corrections. Its process consists of 4-6 community volunteers and 1 individual who is transitioning out of prison. The volunteers serve as a support system, meeting with the individual in transition weekly to walk with the individual as they encounter different barriers and face challenges while rebuilding their life. Originally developed in 1994, Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) was created in Canada to help high-risk individuals with a sex offense successfully reintegrate into society.

In 2008, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) created Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MNCOSA) to serve those with a level 2 sex offense being released to the community. In 2012, the DOC expanded the COSA model with the creation of On Your Feet (OYF), which serves incarcerated individuals with prior military experience; and again in 2014, with the addition of COLUMNS (Circles of Lifers Utilizing Minnesotans for Support) to serve individuals who have served a life sentence and are eligible for release.

Participation in MNCOSA significantly reduced recidivism by: 57% for re-arrest, 49% for technical violation revocation and 51% for any return to prison. For every dollar spent on MNCOSA, the program has generated a benefit of $3.73, avoiding $2 million in cost to the state or $40,923 per core member participant.

Free and open to all