How Does the Drug Program Work Inside Federal Prison?

Question by Chrystal B: How does the drug program work inside federal prison?

Best answer:

Substance Abuse Treatment

In Fiscal Year 1989, the Bureau of Prisons designed a comprehensive substance abuse treatment strategy in an effort to change inmates’ criminal and drug-using behaviors. This strategy begins with drug abuse education and ends with a strong community transition component.

Inmates are required to participate in a drug abuse education course if (1) there is evidence in their presentence investigation report that alcohol or drugs contributed to the commission of their instant offense; (2) they violated supervised release, parole, conditions of a halfway house placement, or conditions of home confinement based on alcohol or drug use; or (3) the sentencing judge recommended that they participate in a drug treatment program during incarceration. In the drug abuse education course, inmates receive information about alcohol and drugs and the physical, social, and psychological impact of abusing these substances. Inmates who are identified as having a further need for treatment are encouraged to participate in non-residential or residential drug abuse treatment.

Non-residential drug abuse treatment and counseling are available at every Bureau institution. Treatment includes individual and group therapy, group counseling, and the use of interactive cognitive restructuring treatment modules that provide skills-building activities and prepare inmates for their transition to the community.

In addition, more than 50 Bureau institutions have residential drug abuse treatment programs (RDAP). Inmates who participate in the residential program are housed together in a separate unit of the prison that is reserved for drug treatment. The residential program provides intensive half-day programming, 5 days a week. The remainder of the day is spent in education, work skills training, and/or other inmate programming. Upon RDAP completion, aftercare treatment services are provided to the inmate while he/she is in the general population, and also later at the residential re-entry center. This maximizes the carry-over of skills, ensuring an effective transition from the institution program to the community~

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