Federal Prison Consultants Announces Changes to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Drug Abuse Programs and Early Release Policies

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Federal Prison Consultants - Executive Director, Joe Gunja, a retired Regional Director and Warden with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that effective March 16th, 2009, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policies related to the Drug Abuse Program (DAP) and the early release of 500 Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) graduates will change. This is the first significant change to these two important policies in over 10 years. Knowledge of these revisions will be critical to all federal inmates and those who represent them!

within the 12-month period before the inmate's arrest on his or her current offense.

Changes to Federal Bureau of Prisons Drug Abuse Program and Early Release Policies

Federal Prison Consultants - Executive Director, Joe Gunja, a retired Regional Director and Warden of the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced that effective March 16th, 2009, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policies related to the Drug Abuse Program (DAP) and the early release of 500 Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) graduates will change. This is the first significant change to these two important policies in over 10 years. Knowledge of these revisions will be critical to all federal inmates and those who represent them!

While the changes to these policies are too numerous to address in a short article, here are a few of the most critical and relevant revisions.

Psychology Treatment Programs (Program Statement 5330.11)

  •     This new policy statement now includes not only drug programs, but also descriptions of all other psychology programs (e.g., a residential program for high security inmates and another program for inmates with both drug treatment and significant mental health needs).
  •     It appears the "bar is raised" in terms of the documentation of substance abuse or dependency needed to qualify for the RDAP.
  •     There is more specificity in describing the type of documentation that will be accepted for RDAP eligibility.
  •     The time frame to demonstrate substance abuse or dependence is now specifically described to be "within the 12-month period before the inmate's arrest on his or her current offense."
  •     The institution DAP Coordinator must conduct a clinical interview of all inmates prior to them being placed on the RDAP waiting list. In this interview, the DAP Coordinator will review the documentation collected by an institution Drug Treatment Specialist and determine if there is a basis for a diagnosis of substance abuse and dependence.

Early Release Procedures under 3621(e) (Program Statement 5331.02)

  •     The maximum early release time for RDAP graduates will be limited based on the inmate's sentence. Those with sentences of 30 months or less may receive no more than a 6-month reduction, while those with a sentence of 31 - 36 months may receive up to a 9-month reduction. The 12-month reduction will be limited to those with sentences of 37 months or more.
  •     Legal staff at the Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) will now review the inmate's past and current offenses, not institution staff.
  •     Disqualifying past and current offenses remain largely the same, but those with prior convictions for arson or kidnapping are now specifically excluded.
  •     Inmates who are sentenced as a D.C. Code offender on or after August 5, 2000 may now be eligible for early release.

Other incentives are also available for taking the non-residential version of the drug program (NRDAP) that may affect increased RRC - Release ReEntry Center placement (half-way house).

Again, these changes emphasize the need to be familiar with the specific requirements of Bureau of Prison policy.

http://www.FederalPrisonConsultants.com

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Joe Gunja - Executive Director
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