What is RDAP? An Overview of the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program.
If you are a federal offender and have a verifiable substance abuse problem, there’s good news. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) by law provides a very specialized program offering eligible offenders additional time off, beyond “good time”, from your sentence. Called the 500-hour comprehensive Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP), it is the only possible way for federal inmates to receive an additional sentence reduction outside the courts and has been shown to be successful at reducing recidivism, relapse, and prison misconduct.
RDAP is available for all security levels except for high security inmates. Upon successful completion of RDAP, eligible inmates will benefit with early release of up to twelve months off their incarceration time plus an extended halfway house and home confinement placement of six months at the end of their sentence. Home confinement starts when the inmate reaches the last ten percent of their sentence. 18 U.S.C § 3621 (e).
Early release amount depends on the sentence length. Inmates serving 37 months or more are eligible for the full twelve months of early release while those serving 31-36 months will be eligible for only a nine month sentence reduction. Those with less than 31 months sentence are eligible for only a six month reduction. Inmates may receive less than their maximum eligible time off due to program overcrowding. The average sentence reduction BOP-wide is approximately nine months.
Some inmates due to the violent or sexual-abuse nature of their crimes are ineligible for any time off. Felony or misdemeanor convictions of robbery, rape, assault or child sexual-abuse will disqualify as well as an element of violence or use of a firearm or weapon. Other disqualifications include those with pending state charges, warrants or detainers; INS-ICE detainers, and military or state inmates.
Eligibility for RDAP is determined by the institution's RDAP staff and requires that the inmate has a verifiable documented narcotic drug, prescription drug, or alcohol abuse problem in their Presentence Investigation Report, considered the “bible” at the BOP. Having a judicial recommendation, although not necessary or conclusive, is helpful for RDAP admission with the court’s recognition and encouragement for treatment. Unfortunately, the PSR often times inadequately reports an inmate's substance abuse due to erroneous advice from counsel or lack of accuracy. Updating the PSR, after the fact, is very difficult after sentencing. In such cases, the burden of proof is much higher but not impossible. The offender can seek documentation verifying substance abuse from a former probation officer or treatment provider. The documentation must adequately show the diagnosis and treatment performed as well as written contemporaneously within one year prior to incarceration, and in most cases, even prior to the initial arrest or indictment.
Next, the offender must meet formal psychological diagnostic criteria by passing a formal clinical interview by the Drug Abuse Program Coordinator (DAPC), who will look at official background documentation, such as a PSR, and other information that supports the diagnosis. The offender must also not have any mental disorders that may interfere with RDAP participation and must sign a treatment contract. During the clinical interview, a substance abuse or dependency disorder may not necessarily be diagnosed by the DAPC even if there is documentation in the inmate’s file, in which case, the inmate is deemed ineligible.
RDAP is in great demand and understandable so, earning up to twelve months sentence reduction and six months halfway house and home confinement. Almost every incoming inmate will apply but only a small percentage are admitted. Indeed due to the limited number of classes for RDAP, the BOP determines eligibility very carefully, scrutinizing documentation to meet entrance requirements followed by a rigorous clinical interview. Successful RDAP admissions then, is the most important criteria for evaluation when choosing a prison consulting firm for hire.
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!