In March of 2009, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) radically changed the eligibility requirements of the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program, also called RDAP. This program allows for up to a 12-month sentence reduction and six months of halfway house for eligible inmates. This is up to 18 months out of federal prison! This program is for those inmates who used or abused illegal drugs, alcohol, and legal prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan, etc. If you are going to federal prison, do you qualify?
Michael Frantz, Federal Prison Consultant for Jail Time Consulting and the Prison Consulting Group stated, “It is now much more difficult to get into the RDAP program and a simple judicial recommendation by the sentencing judge, although useful, does no longer guarantee admission to the RDAP program—you need much, much more.” The BOP is not required to follow or implement the judge’s recommendation for the RDAP program. And most of the time they do not. The eligibility criteria have to be met, or you do not get in. That is it—plain and simple.
The competition for the available slots in this program is fierce as every inmate wants his or her sentence reduced. The defendant must have a thorough knowledge of the March 2009 program revisions and must meet the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse or dependence indicated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, and (DSM-IV). In addition, in the March of 2009 revisions, the BOP instituted significant changes to the RDAP program in both eligibility requirements and incentives. There is specific documentation that the BOP is looking for and must be documented in the Pre-Sentence Investigation Interview Report, (PSI/PSR) or in accepted collateral documentation provided to the BOP.
Michael Frantz stated, “We provide that information to the BOP for you and help you lay the foundation for your acceptance into this program.” Frantz also stated that there are sixteen (16) critical steps to lay that foundation and his companies outline each one of them for his clients and prepare them for each one of the steps. “We can achieve what your attorney cannot,” says Frantz. Now more than ever, a defendant needs the services of Jail Time Consulting or the Prison Consulting Group to lay the foundation of proper collateral documentation and PSI preparation. It is essential.
“The PSI is the first step,” says Frantz, “and to lay a strong foundation for eligibility and acceptance into the program, a defendant should contact us prior to their plea agreement or trial.” Frantz also stated, “Some defendants wait until their PSI interview is over and they, unfortunately, say something in the interview which precludes them for RDAP eligibility.” It is not impossible to assist them in the RDAP program when a defendant contacts us after he or she has taken the Pre-Sentence Investigation Interview, but it is much more difficult and problematic.
IMPORTANCE OF THE PRE-SENTENCE INVESTIGATION INTERVIEW AND REPORT, PSI/PSR
Frantz stated that the Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) and the subsequent Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSR) is without a doubt the most dominant and definitive document used by the Court in determining a defendant’s federal prison sentence. The PSI is the defendant’s “Bible”, his life history as seen through the eyes of the probation officer authoring the report in concert with the Assistant United States Attorney, AUSA, prosecuting the case. Besides being instrumental in determining his federal prison sentence, the PSI is vitally essential with respect to BOP federal prison designation, security level, custody level, program placement, work assignments, bunk assignments, furlough eligibility, community custody placement, inmate quality of life enhancements, and admission into the RDAP program, visit https://www.jailtimeconsulting.com/rdap-drug-program/.
The Pre-Sentence Interview preparation process is a critical step in the eventual determination of the client’s federal prison sentence by the Federal District Court Judge. It is important that it be done correctly, completely, and accurately. This is especially important since the PSI/PSR, intended as an impartial assessment of the defendant, is heavily weighted towards the government’s point of view. Proper preparation and documentation prepare the foundation for any subsequent challenges to the content of the Pre-Sentencing Investigation Report by the client and his defense team. There may be items in the PSI that will negatively affect the inmate in program participation once he is incarcerated. The defendant’s attorney does not know what these items are. He doesn’t look for them. Jail Time Consulting and the Prison Consulting Group do, and they assist the attorney in trying to remove them. Frantz reminds us, “Remember, the Probation Officer authoring your PSI works for the prosecutor. The PSI/PSR is always slanted against the defendant.” Frantz adds, “You need a professional’s help in making the playing field level.” Ideally, Jail Time Consulting and the Prison Consulting Group provide effective client positioning prior to the Pre-Sentencing Interview and Report resulting in significant benefits to the client, eligibility into the RDAP program, and a lower net federal prison sentence.
Michael Frantz stated, “Currently the federal government currently has a 97% guilty plea rate in federal criminal cases. Federal prosecutors have over a 75% conviction rate following trial, and 91% of all federal criminal defendants receive a prison sentence.” Isn’t it time you even up the odds and get a Prison Consultant on your side.
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