The Basics of the RDAP
The purpose and philosophy of the RDAP: The RDAP program is a voluntary and intensive substance abuse treatment program for federal inmates. The philosophy of RDAP is based on the belief that addressing addiction’s underlying causes can help an individual reenter society successfully and reduce recidivism.
Program Components: The RDAP combines individual and group therapy with educational sessions and vocational training. The program is usually nine months long and divided into three phases. Each phase focuses on different aspects of self-awareness and skill development, as well as recovery.
Incentives to Participate: Inmates that successfully complete the RDAP program may be eligible for incentives. These include a reduction of up to one year from their sentence. This reduction in the length of the sentence is a powerful motivation for those who want to recover and return more quickly to society.
Criteria for Eligibility
Screening process: In order to be eligible for RDAP inmates are required to undergo a screening procedure that assesses their substance abuse history, and the severity of their addiction. Admission is generally granted to inmates who have a history of substance abuse, and are willing to participate.
Nonviolent Offenders: Although RDAP can be used by individuals who have committed a variety of crimes, non-violent criminals are often given priority. The program’s focus on rehabilitation is in line with a larger shift in criminal justice towards addressing the underlying causes of criminal behaviour.
Impact on inmates and recidivism
Improved Outcomes of Treatment: According to research, participation in RDAP has been associated with positive outcomes for treatment. This includes reduced substance abuse relapses and improved mental health. The program provides inmates with life skills and coping mechanisms that are essential for recovery.
Recidivism Rates Reduced: RDAP’s overarching goal is to reduce the chances of reoffending. The program’s comprehensive approach to substance abuse helps lower recidivism among participants and promotes a successful reintegration back into society.
Critiques and Challenges
Limited Accessibility: The RDAP program is not available at all federal prisons, which limits the access of some prisoners. This limited availability raises concerns about the equity of access to rehabilitation programs.
Perception and Stigma: Despite RDAP’s success stories, it can be met with skepticism. Some critics claim that those who favor a harsher approach to prison may perceive the program’s incentives as being too lenient.