The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) estimates that 40 percent of federal inmates have diagnosable, moderate to severe substance abuse problems. As an attempt to lower the issues that come with substance abuse the BOP has programs in place, the most intensive and most beneficial of these programs is the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program, (RDAP). This program is for those inmates who used or abused one or more of these items:  illegal drugs, or alcohol, or legal prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan, etc.

This program is a 500-hour, 9-month program, that can help a federal inmate by reducing their sentence by up to 12 months, as well as four to six months in a halfway house for those who are eligible and participate. That means up to 18 months out of prison early! Do you qualify for RDAP?

Qualifying for RDAP

To qualify for RDAP, one must have a sentence of  at least 23 to 24 months or more and must be designated to a facility that offers the RDAP Program, as not all facilities do. If you are designated to a facility that does not have RDAP, it would take too long to be transferred with a short sentence and you would miss the window of opportunity. The inmate must also have no serious mental or cognitive impairment precluding full program participation; be halfway house eligible (which prevents participation by removable non-US citizens who will be deported), and sign an acknowledgment of program responsibilities. There are several other crucial requirements and our Consultants, at Jail Time Consulting, go over every one with you thoroughly, over and over and over again. We have an amazing track record of success and we want to keep it!

You are ineligible for the program if you meet any of these categories:

  1. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees;
  2. pretrial inmates;
  3. contractual boarders (for example, state or military inmates); and
  4. inmates with detainers that preclude halfway house placement,
  5. a history of guns or violence in the instant case or within the last 10 years.

Changes for the Program

On March 16, 2009, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) radically changed the eligibility requirements of the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program. It is now much more challenging 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.

With the changes that came, 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 anyway. 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). Also, 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 Presentence Investigation Interview Report, (PSI/PSR) or accepted collateral documentation must be provided to the BOP. Fortunately for you, the Consultants at Jail Time Consulting are experts at doing just this and will prepare you not only for the Presentence Investigation Interview but also the extremely important RDAP Eligibility Interview once you enter prison. These will be the two most important interviews of your life to date.

Starting with the PSI

Some defendants wait until their PSI interview is over and they, unfortunately, say something in the interview which precludes them from RDAP eligibility. Don’t fall into this trap. Call us early in your case, before your PSI interview, which happens right after you sign a plea agreement, or if you go to trial, right after you are found guilty by a jury. Call us early in your case so we can prepare you.

It is not impossible for our professionals at Jail Time Consulting to assist federal defendants in the RDAP program when we are contacted after he or she has taken the PSI interview. But it is much more complicated and problematic and can be more expensive. Contact me today to find out if you can qualify for the RDAP program. Believe me it is worth it!
You can reach me at 800-382-0868954-740-2253 or