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Expansion of Drug Treatment in Prisons Proposed by Department of Justice

Expansion of Drug Treatment in Prisons Proposed by Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice is considering updating the rules for the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP) that would allow more inmates to participate in the program. 


The RDAP is the Bureau of Prisons’ (BoP) “most intensive” treatment program and is responsible for a reduction in recidivism and an improvement in public safety, according to a study by the BoP and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; Kim, 2015). 


According to an article in The Hill, “The DOJ wants to remove language from the regulations that calls for automatic removal of an inmate from the program if he or she has an incident, whether they are caught using alcohol or drugs, being violent or attempting to escape” (Wheeler, 2015). Removing this rule would allow the Department of Justice more “clinical discretion” in determining who should be removed from the program (Kim, 2015). 


In addition, the Department of Justice would like to remove a written testing requirement in favor of behavioral assessments and “ease restrictions relating to early release” to decrease costs, according to an article posted by The Fix.  


Kim, V. (2015). Justice department proposes expanding access to drug treatment in prisons. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/justice-department-proposes-expanding-access-drug-treatment-prisons
Wheeler, L. (2015). DOJ considers expanding inmate access to drug treatment. The Hill. Retrieved from http://thehill.com/regulation/248651-doj-considers-expanding-inmate-access-to-drug-treatment-programs