The client of a drug crimes lawyer in Arizona might well be able to benefit from the Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse program. While those who underwent treatment originally received no reduced sentencing as a result, the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, among other provisions, allowed the court to provide an up to 1 year sentence reduction for the clients of a drug crime lawyer who completed the now 500 hour drug and alcohol program.
The law also required the BOP to provide treatment to all inmates who were eligible. A provision in 1995 required the client of a drug crimes lawyer to provide documentation of a drug abuse problem to be eligible.
Program’s high demand causes time pressure
Due to the ability to lose 12 months of a sentence, as well as spend 6 months in a half-way house, the program was understandably in high demand. In evaluating eligibility, a clinical interpretation of a drug abuse problem must be made by the BOP. The diagnosis must be made in conjunction with the American Psychiatric Associates Diagnostic and Statistic Manual. This leaves open the possibility that the BOP fails to make a diagnosis, even if substance abuse history has been a part of the past of the client of a drug crimes lawyer in Arizona.
The clinical interview for evaluating eligibility for the program is ordinarily conducted no less than 24 months prior to release. This time is highly significant. Why? The high demand for the program means classes are only available every 2 to 3 months. Even with a court recommendation, there is a possibility that a client of a drug crimes lawyer may spend the last 24 months of their sentence in a facility that doesn’t service such a program.
Completion incentives include early release, as well as consideration for maximum available time in a prerelease community based treatment program to include home confinement. Low and medium security inmates in RDAP programs far from home and have time remaining on their terms have the added incentive of being placed in a program near their homes.
Early release is bar far the greatest incentive for a client of a drug crimes lawyer to enter drug counseling programs, but the time incentive has changed over the years. New provisions reduce the time taken off. Those now serving 37 months are eligible for a 12 month early release. Those serving 31 to 36 months would eligible for only 9 months of reduced sentence, while those with less than 31 months could only see a 6 month reduction.
Some crimes not eligible
There are exceptions for the early release program. These include those who have a prior felony or conviction for homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault or child sexual abuse. Inmates are also not eligible if their crime involved carrying, possessing or using a firearm, other dangerous weapon or explosives, involved or included the attempt of personal force, seriously risked the person or property of another, or conducted sexual abuse practices upon children.
The client of a drug crimes lawyer in Arizona would do well to look into what sort of drug treatment programs are available. The incentives are well worth it, reducing the sentence served as well as providing time in a half way house through a work rehabilitation program.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona drug crimes lawyer, visit our site.