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Getting SMART Program

The Getting SMART Program was developed in 2005 by the Offender Programs Unit, New South Wales Department of Corrective Services. Getting SMART is a substance abuse program that teaches offenders to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles, theory, tools and techniques to abstain from any type of addictive behaviour (substances and/or activities).

Getting SMART was introduced into Tasmanian Community Corrections in August 2011 and is available for offenders on all community-based orders (including Drug Treatment, Probation, Parole and Community Service Orders). It has been designed specifically for offenders who:

  • Have been assessed as having moderate to high substance abuse needs;
  • Have sufficient time remaining on their order or sentence to complete the program.

Up to 10 – 14 offenders may participate in each program, where they engage in group activities and receive a copy of their own workbook. The Getting SMART program is comprised of four key areas:

  • Motivation to abstain;
  • Coping with urges;
  • Problem solving;
  • Lifestyle balance.

Each Getting SMART program is delivered by trained facilitators over 12 sessions. Delivery is flexible, as the 2 hour session blocks can be delivered as either one, two or three sessions weekly. The program can be delivered in either closed or rolling formats.

People who are sentenced to attend and participate in the program may be breached if they do not attend or do not participate appropriately in individual and group program activities and exercises. If someone is breached their case is returned to Court where the Magistrate/Judge may reconsider their sentence.

This program is also available in a custodial setting, and is facilitated within the Tasmanian Prison Service.