I am often asked by people going through the federal process about the Residential Drug and Alcohol Program (RDAP). As someone who took the 9 month program in 2018/19, completed it successfully and had 12 months removed from my 60 month sentence, I can tell you that there are numerous misunderstandings about not just the program itself, but the qualifications for entry.
In this blog, I want to address a few of the more germane issues and myths surrounding the program:
1) My attorney told me that anyone can get into the program and that I just need to apply after I surrender to prison: This cannot be further from the truth. There are a few qualifying factors which must be addressed prior to sentencing such as:
A) Is your history of drug or alcohol abuse well documented?
B) Was it properly disclosed during your PSI (Pre-Sentence Interview)? If not, can that report still be amended?
2) My Judge recommended the program at my sentencing: While getting a judicial recommendation at sentencing is nice, it usually has absolutely NO bearing on program admissibility. The determination is strictly the BOP’s and they will mainly rely on your PSR.
3) My attorney told me that every camp/prison has the program and not to worry about my designation at sentencing: Again this is false. There are a limited number of facilities with the program. I have attached a list for your review. If you live west of the Mississippi, there are only a handful of camps with the program so you need to be cognizant of this at sentencing.
4) I am not a US citizen or have a detainer from an unresolved case. I was told that this shouldn’t affect my eligibility for the program: Any detainer, whether immigration or from an unresolved/pending matter will disqualify you from taking the program. You must be eligible for at least 4 months of halfway house/home confinement to take the aftercare part of RDAP.
5) My attorney told me not to mention, or even discuss my increased drinking issues prior to my pre-sentence interview. Am I now totally precluded from taking RDAP and getting the time off: Not necessarily. We have helped clients amend their PSR’s both pre and post sentencing. This is not an easy task however and should be avoided if possible with proper planning.
6) I was told that regardless of my sentence, if I take and complete the program, I will get 12 months off of my sentence: The minimum sentence to qualify for RDAP is 24 months. There is a graduated table for the amount of time you will receive off of your sentence for completing the program based on your sentence as follows:
24-30 months: 6 months off of your sentence
31-36 months: 9 months off of your sentence
37 months and greater: 12 months off of your sentence
RDAP will also guarantee you additional time in the halfway house or home confinement as part of their aftercare process.
If you or a loved one have any questions about the RDAP program, or anything related to effective sentence mitigation tools, please call, text or email me.