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Federal Prison Drug Programs

June 13, 2021

Getting charged and convicted of a federal drug crime can be one of the most difficult moments of your life. 

Although the realities of incarceration can be difficult to accept, federal prisoners with verifiable substance abuse problems could be eligible for early release upon successful completion of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). 

Read on to learn if you or a loved one could be eligible for the program, and don’t hesitate to contact a federal drug crimes lawyer with Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. if you’ve been charged or arrested on a drug-related crime. 

What Is the RDAP?

The Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) is a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) treatment program for eligible prisoners with bona fide drug and substance abuse programs. 

The nine-month, 500 hour program is the only Federal BOP program that awards a possible sentence reduction to those who successfully complete the program. 

For those able to complete the program, they can expect to be released from prison up to 12 months early into a halfway house or similar program. 

The legal basis for the program is supported by section 18 3621(e) of the US Code, and the program can be highly advantageous to qualified individuals. 

The process for requesting admission to the program usually consists of the following steps:

  • The inmate files a program request form with the relevant prison personnel
  • A drug abuse treatment specialist reviews your eligibility for the program
  • Upon successful completion of the program, the inmate may be placed in conditional release

It’s important to understand, while incredibly beneficial, not everyone will be eligible to complete the program (more on that below). 

Eligibility for Early Release with the RDAP

One of the most important points about the RDAP program is it’s intended for people with verifiable drug or substance abuse problems; regular social or recreational use of a drug doesn’t qualify someone for admission to the program by itself. 

Eligibility for the RDAP program is determined by prison psychology department personnel. Some of the basic qualifications include:

  • Sufficient time remaining on the inmate’s sentence to complete the program
  • Documented or verifiable history or pattern of controlled substance abuse
  • The inmate is a qualified, non-violent inmate

After conviction, the road to recovery and reintegration into society can be long and difficult. Although there are other federal drug education programs out there, the RDAP is the only one that can put you or a loved one on a path towards a reduced sentence. 

Get Robust Legal Defense from a Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer

Although the RDAP can be an important lifeline for current federal prisoners, the best thing you can do to improve your situation is to avoid the consequences of a federal drug conviction in the first place. If you’ve been charged, don’t lose hope—a federal drug crimes lawyer with Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. can fight for you to get the best possible result in a criminal trial. 

Call us at 214-665-6930 or visit us on our website to schedule a consultation through our confidential form. 


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