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Community Rehabilitation Programs

This brief article discusses the role of community rehabilitation programs in relation to rehabilitation, sentencing and providing offenders with the information and necessary skills to develop safer behaviours.  We discuss the Traffic Offenders Program, the Smart Recovery Program and the Enough is Enough Program.

Why are Community Rehabilitation Programs Important in Court?

During the sentencing process, the court considers the likelihood of an individual reoffending.  Community rehabilitation programs demonstrate to the court that the offender has made progress towards rehabilitation and has addressed the underlying causes of their offence.  The court also considers mitigating factors when determining the most appropriate sentence for an offence.

The magistrate or judge must consider several factors including the purposes of punishment, deterrence, community protection and rehabilitation of the offender.

Traffic Offenders Program

The Traffic Offenders Intervention Program is a local court-based program which is designed to target those who have plead guilty or have been found guilty of a traffic offence.  The program focuses on topics designed to inform and educate drivers about common hazards on the road and the consequences of dangerous driving behaviours. The program focuses on speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the impact this has on the victims and their families.

BSM criminal lawyers advise clients to complete the Traffic Offenders Program in the following matters:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Police pursuits
  • Driving while suspended, disqualified or unlicensed
  • Negligent driving
  • Licence suspension appeals (exceeding demerit point limit)
  • Any traffic offence involving a provisional licence

Completing the Traffic Offenders Program assists by demonstrating

  • Remorse for the offender’s actions
  • Proactive steps towards rehabilitation
  • Awareness of the seriousness of the charge and
  • Providing the offender with the necessary skills to reduce the risk of reoffending or having a serious accident in the future

The importance of the program is highlighted and explained in the dedicated article on the guideline judgement for high range drink driving.

Traffic Offenders Program: Impact on sentencing

When a magistrate sentences an offender in a traffic matter, they will look more favourably on those who have completed a traffic offenders program.  In other words, the offender will usually be given a less severe penalty.  In addition, the program may form a part of the mitigating factors when the magistrate considers the appropriate sentence for an individual’s offence, pursuant to s21A of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)

If you refuse to attend the program or indicate to court that you are simply too busy to participate, the magistrate may conclude that you don’t have insight into the seriousness of your traffic offence. Refusing or failing to complete the program may also see the court reduce your sentencing discount.

Currently, the Traffic Offenders Program can be completed via partial or complete online courses. Generally, it is recommended to attend in person as greater weight tends to be placed on courses that you have physically attended.  To book your session, please click here.

SMART Recovery Program

The SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Program is an offender program that targets those who have plead guilty or have been found guilty of an alcohol or drug related offence.  Notably, the program places a significant focus on the impact of drugs and alcohol on victims and an individual’s family.  

The BSM criminal team advise clients to complete the SMART Recovery Program if charged with any drug related offence.  We also recommend that individuals experiencing issues relating to alcohol dependence attend the program. 

SMART Recovery Program: Impact on sentencing

For individuals charged with drink or drug driving offences, attending the SMART recovery program assists with potentially mitigating an offender’s sentence.  It highlights to the court that the offender has made an effort to address their substance abuse issues.  Additionally, the program helps develop an offender’s skills with managing cravings, cope with urges and reduce the risk of reoffending.  Ultimately, this may lead to improved personal relationships and increased mental and physical health.

Currently, the Smart recovery program can be completed online or in-person. Generally, we recommend attending in person as greater weight tends to be placed on courses that you have physically attended.  To book your session, please click here.

Enough Is Enough Program

The Enough Is Enough program is designed to provide counselling support programs for victims and offenders of domestic violence. It includes personal development programs tailored to issues such as anger management, relationships, domestic violence and road trauma. The program offers fully qualified psychologists and counsellors that can assist individuals with navigating through difficult situations and provide the necessary support for offender rehabilitation. The program aims to educate and provide offenders with the necessary practical skills to identify and learn about the consequences of violent behaviour and assist with developing strategies to manage anger and resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.

The criminal lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight strongly advise our clients to attend the Enough is Enough Program if charged with a domestic violence offence. 

Enough Is Enough Program: Impact on sentencing

For individuals charged with a domestic violence offence, attending the Enough Is Enough program demonstrates to the Court that the offender has taken proactive steps to address their behaviours of violence. The Court looks favourably on participation and considers the completion of this program to be a mitigating factor when determining the most appropriate sentence for an offender.  Furthermore, the program contributes towards personal growth and self-improvement, as it encourages individuals to take responsibility for their actions and to make positive changes in their relationships.

Currently, the Enough Is Enough Program can only be completed in-person.  The program is offered in the Sutherland Shire or Greater Sydney area.  To book your session, please click contact team@enoughisenough.org.au.

How can BSM Lawyers help?

Our experienced criminal lawyers understand that being charged with any offence is extremely stressful.  Our team can help you prepare for court and discuss community rehabilitation programs that can improve your sentencing outcome.  We will carefully listen to you, liaise with the police and prosecution and develop the best defence strategy for you.  Our criminal team will recommend the most appropriate programs to achieve the best results.  We are proud of the excellent court outcomes that we achieve for our clients.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

BSM Law are conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Sydney CBD and Wollongong

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