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 guarantee it, or we’ll refund 100% of our consulting 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!

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  • Martha Thomas (Saturday, October 06 12 03:34 pm EDT)

    Is true that all my husband has to say to get into rdap is that he drinks too much?

  • Cathi Pilger (Monday, October 29 12 11:32 am EDT)

    Can you get this RDAP Eval in State prison?

  • Shedrick McKenzie (Friday, November 16 12 10:57 pm EST)

    I have been taking nerve and anxiety pills since my first wife died plus I have a hernia disk in my back and the only thing relieve my pain is Loratab 10ng, can I get in the RDAP program?

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, November 17 12 07:50 am EST)

    Shedrick, the answer is Yes. Prescription drugs is considered a substance for abuse and is commonly used to get into RDAP.

  • Madeline (Thursday, February 07 13 07:40 pm EST)

    When my husband went to prsion.paper work show he has a problem withdrugs. My husband. Was given 7 years sentence.as olny being in their may 31 2012. Was fighting for his lifegot very sick. While in Prison. Lost is right eye was not getting the Medicare treatment he needed. Is learning how to walk again.is some where in dlass TX please call me if u can help me.

  • Cliff Wimberly (Sunday, March 10 13 08:30 am EDT)

    Madeline, please give us a call and I'll make sure you get the info you need dealing with medical requests at the BOP.

  • omar (Saturday, March 23 13 01:58 am EDT)

    If I live in LA , how can you assist me?

  • Cliff Wimberly (Saturday, March 23 13 08:33 am EDT)

    Omar, yes we can and in fact, have local counsel in the LA area. We work with all clients throughout the USA.

  • Jenny (Tuesday, April 16 13 07:57 pm EDT)

    Our son, 21, has been sentenced to 10 years for selling marijuana and Possession of a firearm. He has a heroin/narcotic addiction.. positive drug screen while on probation. Has had in patient treatment after conviction and before sentencing. Is he eligible?

  • Cliff Wimberly (Tuesday, May 28 13 08:05 pm EDT)

    Jenny, the firearm will prevent him in getting a sentence reduction but he can still do rdap. The addiction, if well documented, would get him into rdap. The in-patient treatment after arrest will not help him much.

  • Renea (Thursday, June 13 13 07:31 pm EDT)

    My boyfriend has been in the rdap for almost 2 months now. He was just informed he may not be eligible for sentence reduction due to a prior state conviction of battery in 2005. He says he will appeal it because he believes it was dismissed. Does it matter if it was or not ? Is battery considered aggravated assault?

  • Cliff Wimberly (Wednesday, July 03 13 04:19 pm EDT)

    Renea, no battery is not considered aggravated assault. If it was dismissed, he will not have a problem.

  • Katrina (Thursday, July 04 13 08:27 am EDT)

    What if you got caught selling drug ?Will the program take him in

  • Sommer LaRoche (Friday, July 26 13 04:16 pm EDT)

    My fiance' was initially sentenced 5 years for grand theft auto. He's in Sioux falls state penitentiary. I know he's in a treatment type program already, he's had an alcohol problem before he was incarcerated, is he eligible for RDAP?

  • Cliff Wimberly (Monday, July 29 13 10:27 am EDT)

    Sommer, it sounds like he was in a state jail and this program is for federal prisons.

  • John (Monday, March 17 14 09:31 pm EDT)

    I'm gonna to most likely get sentenced between 30-36 months for sex trafficking next month I smoke weed an have prior convictions for marijuana possession am I avail for rdap an if so how long will it reduce my sentence

  • LJones (Monday, March 17 14 11:04 pm EDT)

    If my fiancé has prior Criminal Reckless charge will that disqualify him from the time cut?

  • Cliff Wimberly (Tuesday, March 18 14 10:07 am EDT)

    Hi John. It's important to have all your documentation prepared so you are sure to get into rdap. Please call our office.

  • maria (Saturday, April 05 14 07:36 pm EDT)

    quisiera saber si mi hija califica para rdap ella esta por conspiraccion y su sentencia fue de 68 meses

  • Wynter Morris (Monday, April 21 14 11:35 am EDT)

    My daughter father was sentence 7yrs. For selling drugs and had a lawyer for 2 yrs. Do he qualify for the program.

  • Cliff Wimberly (Monday, April 21 14 12:48 pm EDT)

    Wynter, he can get in the program if he can prove he has an alcohol or drug problem. Please call our office to discuss. He is little to do with his case or attorney.

  • Curtisene Wright (Wednesday, June 25 14 06:58 pm EDT)

    My son is in medicl center federal prisoners he was diagnosis Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorder the medicine he on is prolixin and cogentin.I like to know if he can get in the RDAP program. His out date is Aug 2016.

  • Cliff Wimberly (Wednesday, June 25 14 09:10 pm EDT)

    Curtisene - your son may be able to get into the program but we need more info. Please call our office to discuss your case. 866-543-0250

  • Angie (Wednesday, July 09 14 01:01 pm EDT)

    My boyfriend was sentenced to 15 yrs at 50% and was incarcerated on april 29th 2014. he has prior class x charges and battery of a handicap in his past. He now is taking prozac and depakote in prison. He lost his father and mother at a young age and I know that is why he has so many problems with anger and addiction. would he be a good canidate?

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, July 12 14 06:23 am EDT)

    Angie - it sounds like your boyfriend is in a state jail with a state charge. The RDAP program is only for federal inmates in federal prison. Sorry.

  • Nicole (Monday, November 03 14 11:30 am EST)

    Hello, my fiance was sentenced to 11 years in medium institution he has tested postive for marijuana in the past he had a gun charge prior and did 3 years in state jail would he be eligble for the program or do you know anything about the 65% law or the point dedecutions.

  • Anh Nguyen (Wednesday, November 12 14 05:13 pm EST)

    Nicole - these are a lot of questions and I am going to need more information in order for me to give you an answer. Please call our office.

  • Brandon (Thursday, November 13 14 11:02 pm EST)

    My Dad was sentenced to 24 months for a white collar crime (first offense) in August of 2014. He just was admitted into RDAP at Edgefield that begins Nov 24th, 2014. What is a realistic time for him to be out in a halfway house? Thanks!

  • Anh Nguyen (Sunday, November 16 14 09:48 pm EST)

    Hi Brandon. He will be done with RDAP in 9 months, which is Aug 24, 2015. He will immediately go to the halfway house for 6 months after and then go to supervised release. As soon as arriving to the halfway house, he may leave to work, go shopping, exercise, church, etc. He will have to be sleeping at the halfway house for 3.6 months with weekend passes to go home. He can then do home confinement for 2.4 months.

  • Jackie (Tuesday, November 18 14 02:48 pm EST)

    My husband is waiting for sentence and is looking at 5-20 years. He has prior drug abuse problems, but has a felony for residential bulgury, will that disquilify his eligibility or is there any way to get him in the program?

  • Julie (Tuesday, December 02 14 04:59 pm EST)

    My husband has Asthma, he had been use asthmas medicine all time, dose he qualify for RDAP, also, he is US green card holder.

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, December 06 14 07:41 pm EST)

    Jackie - yes, he may still be able to get into RDAP and the time off. Please call our office.

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, December 06 14 07:42 pm EST)

    Julie, you have to be a US Citizen. Also, asthma meds are not the type that can be easily abused.

  • Felicia (Tuesday, December 16 14 05:44 pm EST)

    My husband was sentenced to 15 years for drugs federal time. He had a prior state time for aggravated assault and robbery. This put him as a career offender. Will the state disqualify him from the drug program?

  • Shawn v. (Friday, December 26 14 05:52 am EST)

    My brother has a open case from 2006 that the state never indicted but it still shows as pending. He has no detainer. Is he eligible?

  • Michelle (Sunday, January 04 15 12:33 pm EST)

    Please contact me regarding your fees etc
    I am in the process of negotiation with a plea deal for white collar analog substance case.
    I have a six year old son and am facing conspiracy charges
    My number one concern is to be away from him for the least amount of time possible

  • Anh Nguyen (Sunday, January 04 15 09:53 pm EST)

    Michelle - please call my office.

  • Anh Nguyen (Sunday, January 04 15 09:55 pm EST)

    Shawn, I am confused. If there is an open case, then there is a detainer. He will not be able to get into rdap if there is criminal case pending against him.

  • Anh Nguyen (Sunday, January 04 15 09:56 pm EST)

    Felicia - I am sorry to say that the aggravated assault and robbery will preclude him from getting a direct sentence reduction for rdap. He may still attend the program however.

  • kendra (Wednesday, January 21 15 01:38 pm EST)

    my husband has a 5 year min.mandatory.. he is already in the rdap program for 2 months now.. does he qualify for time off and hwh time?

  • Nicole Martin (Saturday, January 24 15 02:40 pm EST)

    I have recently been released from Federal prison and I also completed RDAP. While I am pleased that a lot of families are getting the information about the program, I just want to let people know how important it is for people to do the program for the right reasons. This program changed my life. It taught me a lot of things that has changed my outlook on life. Yes the time off was a good deal, but hopefully your family members truly want to change. After completing yo still have to attend treatment while in the halfway house. This is not easy. Please make sure you get all the facts.

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, January 31 15 08:18 am EST)

    Kendra - He qualifies for the hwh time. He will get the sentence reduction as well if there are no charges in his past that are deemed \"violent\".

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, January 31 15 08:20 am EST)

    Nicole - The program is very helpful for change and I agree. The treatment at the halfway house is very easy for most locations...usually 60 minutes of per week.

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