Sentencing Commission Publishes Study about Recidivism in Drug Program Participants
The U.S. Sentencing Commission published the latest report from its recent series on recidivism of federal offenders released in 2010. I believe that this is an important study for those who are seeking compassionate release among other things.
About The Bureau of Prisons Drug Abuse Programs
Recidivism and Federal Bureau of Prisons Programs: Drug Program Participants Released in 2010 is the fifth report in the series and examines Bureau of Prisons (BOP) drug program participants who participated in one of the following programs:
• Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
◦ 8,474 offenders who the BOP marked as eligible to participate in RDAP while serving time in BOP custody.
◦RDAP is the BOP’s “most intensive” drug treatment program and requires that participants receive treatment in a specialized unit that houses only RDAP participants
• Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NRDAP)
◦ 4,446 offenders who were marked as eligible to participate in NRDAP.
◦NRDAP consists of drug treatment, conducted primarily in a group setting, over the course of 12 to 24 weeks.
The Commission observed a significant reduction in the likelihood of recidivism for offenders who completed the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program or the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program. The study is a first-in-decades examination of the RDAP program and first-of-its-kind undertaken by the Commission.
Key Findings of the United States Sentencing Commission Study
This study observed a significant reduction in the likelihood of recidivism for offenders who completed the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program or the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program.
- RDAP Completers had lower rates of recidivism, compared to eligible offenders who did not complete or participate in the program. Less than half of RDAP Completers (48.2%) recidivated in the eight-year follow-up period of this study, compared to 68.0 percent of RDAP Eligible Non-Participants.
- RDAP Completers were 27 percent less likely to recidivate compared to RDAP-Eligible Non-Participants.
- RDAP Completers had higher post-release rates of drug-related recidivism, compared to RDAP Participants and RDAP Eligible Non-Participants.
- NRDAP Completers had lower recidivism rates compared to offenders who did not complete or participate in the program. Nearly half (49.9%) of offenders who completed NRDAP recidivated during the study period, compared to over half (54.0%) of NRDAP Eligible Non-Participants.
- NRDAP Completers were 17 percent less likely to recidivate compared to eligible non-participants and offenders with a history of substance abuse who served at least five months in BOP custody.