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May 24, 2016

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

According to studies and statistics, a large portion of the federal prison population suffers from alcohol and drug dependency. Many offenders have major alcohol and drug problems before they are arrested and convicted for their crimes. To address these problems and help rehabilitate inmates, the Bureau of Prisons initiated a drug treatment program over 20 years ago. Over the last two decades, the program has helped thousands of inmates to turn their lives around before they are released from prison.

The Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, RDAP, is an inpatient program mandated by federal law. For qualified prisoners who enter and complete the program, their sentence can be reduced by as much as one year. This reduced sentence time is in addition to the 54 days per year that inmates can earn if they remain infraction free while incarerated.

The exact amount of time that can be cut from a sentence depends on the initial sentence:

* Inmates sentenced to 37 months or more who complete the program will receive the full 12 months of early release.

* Inmates sentenced to 31 to 36 months can receive a nine month reduced sentence.

* Inmates sentenced to less than 31 months can receive a six month reduced sentence.

RDAP is the Bureau’s most intensive treatment program for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. It is held in a modified therapeutic community atmosphere where inmates experience living in a pro-social community, rather than in the general prison population. Inmates participate in a half-day of treatment programming and a half-day of school, work or vocational activities. The treatment program lasts nine months and takes approximately 500 hours to complete.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Prisons have conducted numerous studies on the treatment program over the years. Research findings show that RDAP participants are significantly less likely to relapse with alcohol and drug problems after release than non-participating inmates. According to criminal defense attorneys of Michigan, the RDAP makes a significant difference in inmates' lives and helps them to return to normal life with greater success.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the RDAP, the inmate must have a verified alcohol abuse, narcotic drug or prescription drug problem that is documented in a pre-sentence investigation. If the sentencing judge recommends the inmate for the program, eligibility will increase. The inmate must be in a prison facility that offers the treatment program.

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