Survive and Thrive in RDAP
Congratulations, you got into the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP) which is only half the battle. In order to get the full benefits of up to 12 months sentence reduction and early release and 6 months halfway house/home confinement, you next have to survive the program and graduate, which is no trivial task. A significant percentage of inmates don’t make it through the program successfully for three reasons: they sign out or quit, they are kicked out, or they are restarted in the program due to poor progress.
Over 80% of all RDAP participants are in prison for drug related charges. Typically, white collar criminals make up only a small percentage of the program and tend to be held to a higher standard for successful RDAP completion. In some cases, they experience discrimination from both treatment staff and other inmates alike, especially those white-collar inmates that were involved in a high dollar crime! Why should you deserve the time off, so goes the thinking? This means that if you are a white-collar criminal and want to better guarantee success, it would be prudent to hire prison consultants who specialize in RDAP or at a minimum, research about the program so that you are better prepared.
The purpose of this paper is to outline the general structure and requirements of the RDAP program as well as suggestions to succeed as recommended by many of our past RDAP graduates.
RDAP relies on the Therapeutic Community made of up to 48 fellow inmates. This treatment community stems from the belief that recovering addicts can help other addicts off drugs and into recovery. The community discussions then are crucial to successful treatment and the change process. Peers may, at times, provide support and encouragement to each other and at other times can be intensely confrontational. Besides substance abuse and addiction, inmates exhaustively learn criminal thinking patterns and their coping strategies.
Besides the Therapeutic Community, the program also uses three other types of groups for treatment: small, module, and self-help groups. First, “Small Group” provides each inmate the opportunity to share his challenge in recovering with other fellow participants on a more intimate level. This “smaller” group serves as a reality check of attitude and behaviors which support recovery are immediately reinforced, while attitudes and behavior which signed relapse receive equally immediate scrutiny. Second, “Module Group” is designed to assist inmates in learning critical thinking and problem solving skills using workbooks in a classroom environment. Class topics span from “Rational Thinking” to “Lifestyle Balance” to “Relapse Prevention”.
Finally, “Self-Help Groups” are the twelve step programs, such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous, and SMART Recovery as valuable components of the recovery process and to serve as a support system. These meetings can provide unconditional support in time of crisis when you are in society and do not have peers or community professionals readily available.
RDAP is comprised of three phases, each approximately 3 months in length. Phase I begins with a two to three week orientation period followed by meetings with their primary Drug Treatment Specialist (DTS) to formulate their individualized treatment plan. In Phase I, inmates must demonstrate their commitment and motivation to change their drug seeking behavior and criminal thinking. Phases II and III, participants continue to participate in module groups, small group therapy, community meetings, and evaluation. Inmates are required to demonstrate to staff a commitment to change as demonstrated in their thinking, behavior, attitude, and respect towards others.
By signing up with RDAP, inmates are committing themselves to abide by the rules and regulations of the program. It becomes obvious that true recovery is a 24-hour a day process. Three themes should become an integral part of their new, developing lifestyle: self-responsibility, motivation, and recovery. Inmates are expected to engage in all aspects of treatment, to hold each other accountable for behaviors that are unacceptable to the community and are inconsistent with recovery, to utilize others for support and guidance, and to be public in their efforts at recovery. The following are sample behaviors viewed as important for progress in treatment and recovery:
- Accept and accomplish goals as determined by the treatment staff. Complete all treatment work, such as workbooks, writing assignments, and learning experiences, thoroughly and on time.
- Participate and be genuinely motivated to change. Be on time and prepared for group. Show seriousness and willingness to work the program. As an example, sit straight and at attention with positive body language at all times. Engage in treatment by participating in group activities. Show sincerity and honesty and expose yourself during group.
- Respect yourself and others. Exhibit pro-social behavior and hold others accountable for bad behavior. Demonstrate having a good attitude, such as caring to others, by supporting fellow participants in group. Do not be vindictive to other inmates.
- Follow all rules in group at all times and hold yourself accountable if a rule is broken. Honesty is the foundation of the program.
- Always show pro-social behavior, especially during telephone calls and emails which are recorded. Be careful who you confide in and always exhibit pro-social behavior in your conduct and conversations with them.
- Show humility. Everyone in group is considered “equal” and you must humble yourself. That means that no one cares how big or grandiose your white collar crime was. You must try to blend in with the rest of the group. Nobody likes a show off, so dumb it down.
RDAP Law and Prison Consultants specialize in successful RDAP eligibility, admissions, and support for the maximum sentence reduction possible for early release. We take most cases on contingency, which means we will get you success or there is no fee. Your success is our success. Timing is important and with the complex requirements surrounding what documentation are deemed acceptable, it’s important to seek consultation immediately. Call us now!