Prison SMART Program - South Africa

Prison Stress Management and Rehabilitation Training (Prison SMART)

The vision of this program is to deliver its unique stress management training to prison inmates, individuals on parole, at risk and incarcerated youth and victims of crime. The program teaches essential life skills that enable individuals to accept responsibility for past actions and to handle future conflict and stressful situations successfully. The Prison SMART program has been taught in South African prisons since 2002.

Over 8881 South African prisoners have benefited from the program to date. Prison SMART has also received great print media coverage over the years which have built up its creditability. Prison SMART has also started in Zimbabwe, Tanzania & Kenya through recommendations from the Correctional Services in South Africa.

To date Prison SMART has been very successful with 11 prisons having benefited from the program nationally, in:

  1. Leeukop Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Gauteng)

  2. Bavianspoort Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Gauteng)

  3. Boksburg Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Gauteng)

  4. Vereeneging Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Gauteng)

  5. JHB Correctional Maximum & Medium security (Gauteng)

  6. Groenpunt Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Gauteng)

  7. Krugersdorp Maximum and Medium security (Gauteng)

  8. Westville Females & Juveniles security (Kwa-Zulu Natal)

  9. Umzinto Medium security (Kwa-Zulu Natal)

  10. Polls moor Maximum Medium & Juveniles security (Western Cape)

  11. Bonnie town Juvenile (Western Cape)



Results showed a remarkable decline in the anger and aggression levels of inmates. 

  • 75.6% shared improvement in anger levels; 68.3% said there was an improvement in clarity of mind

  • 58.5% said their fears have come down; 68.3% reported decrease in sadness and depression

  • 46.3% observed the need for medication changed and 29.3% saw no change

  • 75.6% reported increase in energy levels and 2% saw no change

  • 68.3% felt lethargy levels were reduced; sleep improved for 85.4%

  • 75.6% found an improvement in physical well being

  • 75.6% reported increase in energy levels

  • Quality of sleep improved for 78%


Testimonials from inmates 2013:

“The course that we completed the last few days made me realise what bad shape my body is in. I have committed myself to do the breathing exercise that we learnt- get rid of the negatives things in my mind”.

Long Term Achievements: “to be ambitious and a successful business owner and to give back to the community.” “No matter how huge my challengers may be, I believe that I can outgrow them by developing skills, knowledge and achieve wisdom to deal with my problems.”

“Since I was admitted at Groenpunt Maximum Correctional Centre in January 2010 I attend school to fulfil my ambition of becoming an entrepreneur. This year August I received a certificate for top student at level 4 at Groenpunt Maximum.”