July 18, 2005
"Getting out early" through a federal drug program
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to post here attorney Alan Ellis's co-authored article "Litigating in a post-Booker World," which appeared in the Spring Issue of ABA Criminal Justice Magazine. Now I can also make available another valuable article co-authored by Alan Ellis on a distinct topic which is forthcoming in the next issue of the ABA's Criminal Justice Magazine.
Entitled "Getting Out Early: BOP Drug Program," the article now available for download below describes the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Comprehensive Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). As explained in the article, RDAP is "the only mechanism by which federal inmates can now potentially receive a reduction in their sentences beyond earning good conduct time credit."
UPDATE: FPD Steve Sady was kind enough to send me a note to highlight that this post on the Ninth Circuit Blog discusses the RDAP program and notes that some prisoners sentenced for offenses involving gun possession may be eligible for the program.
July 18, 2005 at 02:53 PM | Permalink
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So, if you're going to commit a federal crime, it's to your advantage to use drugs (or must one also be addicted to them?) beforehand for use as a sentence-reduction factor in case you get caught? I'm all for not treating drug use as a crime, but to the extent someone does commit a non-drug related crime (say, avoiding the filing of a currency transaction report) why should they spend less time in prison simply because they also happened to use drugs?
Posted by: Bruce M | Jul 18, 2005 3:35:18 PM
Your right one should just apply for parole or clemency instead!
Posted by: srb | Jul 18, 2005 4:20:41 PM
First of all, the ideal of getting time off through the drug program is misleading. I, personsally went through the drug program and was told that I would receive one year off my sentence. I only received 5 weeks off. Instead of spending 27 months (46 months sentence), I've spent 39 months. The BOP and the US Attorney cleverly lied and there's nothing you can do about it. I agree with bruce, people who are not addicted are trying to use the program to get less time. Some do, while other people who actually need it, don't. Initially, I was suppose to get probation, but that's another matter. I am currently awaiting for the Ninth circuit to make a ruling on my case (Booker).
Posted by: A | Jul 18, 2005 4:24:12 PM
As the wife of a federal prisoner, I guess I would like to know if there is a difference between INS Detainees and INS Detainers? (It would be nice if someone reading this could post an answer to that question.) My husband is serving time at FSL Jesup in Georgia, and I know for a fact that INS inmates of some sort (whether it's detainees or detainers) are taking the RDAP class, and according to this article by Ellis and Henderson it says INS Detainees are NOT eligible for the program. ???? If I knew the difference between the two maybe my question would be answered. Thanks in advance!
p.s. Mr. Berman, ironically I did email you about this very issue a short while back but I did not receive a response. Maybe I can get one here. I do realize that you are a very busy man. And I very much appreciate your blog! I get a lot of useful information from it!
Posted by: Aimee Boettcher | Jul 18, 2005 10:12:01 PM
plese help trying to figure out what my boyfriend of 16 years will get for drug traffecting and 22 ounces of crack and found with money what may happen please help mother alone
Posted by: | Apr 13, 2008 5:53:27 PM
I am trying to find out if a federal inmate, with a conviction of; felon in possesion of firearm, can recieve 1 year credit after completing the drug program and what the Second Chance Act can do for him. Thanks,
Posted by: S Harrison | Apr 25, 2008 4:49:46 PM
Hi, this is S Harrison again, my e-mail didn't show right...it is the question about the 1 yr. credit & second chance act...thank you again because I need some info on this subject....very important.
Posted by: S Harrison | Apr 25, 2008 4:57:19 PM
i am a former inmate that went thru the drug program and it is a very good program if it iz a want to get help and not a reduction the motto iz it works if u work it and i have been home and sober 2yr so i recommend it
Posted by: chandra dorham | May 4, 2008 5:45:30 PM
I would like to get some information on the requirements for enrollment in the federal drug program. Is there a certain amount of time that one must have left on his sentence in order to qualify? Can an inmate be transferred directly from his local prison to his long term facility and enter directly into the program? Any information would be useful.
Posted by: Lydia | Jul 17, 2008 11:54:55 PM
Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 9:10:48 PM
please help me understand federal laws. my husband just got sentenced 10 yrs. he got charged with drugs and a gun. will he be eligable for drug program or half way house. thanks
Posted by: sylvia estrada | Nov 12, 2008 10:56:57 PM
I would like to get some information on the requirements for enrollment in the federal drug program for my father.
Is there a certain amount of time that one must have left on his sentence in order to qualify?
Can an inmate be transferred directly from his local prison to his long term facility and enter directly into the program?
Any information would be useful.
Posted by: Daniela | Dec 17, 2008 10:13:09 PM
is federal drug program eligible for none volient offener in west virigina
Posted by: tyanna | Apr 6, 2009 10:14:05 AM
im a student, and i would like to know what do you need to do to be able to get that program and what needs to know if you are already in prison with drugs charges
Posted by: maria | Sep 26, 2009 2:26:05 PM
I am a wife of a federal prisoner that has not yet been sentenced. My husband gave me this site to look up info on what to expect and similar caseses. He is being charged with Poss. W/intent to sell aprox 250 grams meth. As well as trafficing cross state lines. He has no criminal record other than two dui's. His case is a circumstantial one as he never actually had the drugs in his possession. He has a great job and a wife (me) and two baby boys that miss him very much. Does he get a break for being a first time offender and having a good job and family? Is there any kind of programs he should be asking for? Is there any hope for less than the federal minimum sentence?
Posted by: Jennifer | Jan 24, 2010 8:21:32 AM
My sister-in-law just got sentenced 120 months for buying pills for her drug habit meth, but they did not catch her with anything on her or for selling. So my main concern is that she did'nt have any information to bust other people like the guy she bought the drugs from, who had snitched on her. her court appointed lawyer was pointless and useless. the judge kept bringing up what the other person had said like that was the God's honest truth, would'nt that be hearsay? Also the lawyer she had let her speak on her own behalf. Does she have grounds to appeal this decision? we need help really bad. she only has another few days to appeal the decision. her so called lawyer said there were no grounds for an appeal. I think there is because he was a joke. he did'nt even comb his hair before court and looked hungover his clothes were all wrinkled it was just a bad deal all the way arround. he did'nt say anything to defend her!!!! I feel she was railroaded and used for an example when you don't make up names to snitch on people. Please can anyone give us advice on what to do next. Thank you so much
Posted by: keeney | Feb 13, 2010 6:02:15 PM
I GOT A FIVE YEAR SENTENCE,IF I TAKE THE DRUG PROGRAM HOW MUCH TIME WILL I GRT OFF
Posted by: MICHAEL LAWSON | Jun 7, 2011 5:16:13 AM
I MEAN GET OFF......
Posted by: MICHAEL LAWSON | Jun 7, 2011 5:18:03 AM
help please!!! my son got 15 yrs for having 27 lortabs on him in walton county florida he has been there 4 yrs now how can i help him?we need him bad at home. just seems like a lot of time for a few pills its crazy. please help if you can
Posted by: lisa jones | Oct 10, 2011 3:38:23 PM
Yes my brother is wondering since his crime is involving a gun when he gets sentenced is he eligable to be part of the drug program and how much time will be takin off. thank you
Posted by: david | Oct 16, 2011 11:38:24 PM
I urgently need information on Federal alternative sentencing. i am charged with 1 count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of cocaine. the guidelines ask for 5 yrs, my acceptance of responsibility allows the judge to go under that guideline. I,ve gone thru drug treatment,lived in a recovery house & am currently employed as a manager in a 16 women recovery house. I am also going to school full time for socialwork/addiction counseling. I have been clean for 6 months and live everyday for my continued recovery & to help others in their recovery process. My attorney thinks he will be doing a good job for me to get anything under 5 yrs, I am 56 yrs. old & am in 4th stage kidney failure. Is there a type of federal drug court or anything at all that could be an alternative to me actually going to prison?
Posted by: karen moran | Feb 15, 2012 3:27:52 PM
we need some help and as much information as we can get. My family and I are being charged with possesion and conspiracy to manufactor meth. none of us had any pills in our poss or anything else for that matter. They are also trying to put us with people we had no dealings with one whom seems to be snitching on the rest of us to get her sentence reduced. They do have the pharmacy logs but nothing else except for hearsay. What are our options and what kind of sentence are we looking at. is drug court an option or will it help us at all. We are addicts and only feed our habits. and when i say my family it's me, my husband, his sister, his mom, and his nieces and nephews. we would really apperciate any info you could give us.
Posted by: smp | Feb 22, 2012 12:52:29 PM
I want to know is there a certain mount of time do u have to get to enter a drug program like do u got to have a long sentence to qualify or u can have short sentence
Posted by: ms Gregory | Feb 23, 2012 11:36:41 PM
can a federal inmate take the drug class with gun charges and if so what prisons in the US will allow this and is supposed to take a year off their sentence? thank you
Posted by: gail lindsey | Apr 15, 2012 9:29:48 PM
Hello, my brother got sentenced to Moshannon FCI in Philipsburg, Pa. for tax evasion and wire fraud....21 months. First offense, etc etc. He has a drinking problem ever since all this began. How do you qualify for the RDAP program? He is certainly in denial but has come to terms of his addiction. He's self surrendering on July 9th. Thank you.
Posted by: molly | Jun 25, 2012 3:47:39 PM
My fiance is currently waiting for sentencing. He is being charged in connection with a drug conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He has a prior gun possession charge but nothing related to this current case. Some of the co-defendants have gun charges related to this case. My questions to you is, will the prior gun possession charge or the co-defendants current gun charge(s) render him as ineligible for the RDAP program? Will this interfere with his chances? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Posted by: Tat | Jan 3, 2013 10:21:59 PM