U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners (RSAT)

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2022
4 pages
Publication Series

The U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) reports on the goals, features, implementation. and achievements of the BJA-administered Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners (RSAT) Program.



The purpose of the RSAT Program is to break the cycle of drugs and violence by reducing the demand for, use of, and trafficking of illegal drugs.  According to the most recent Bureau of Justice statistics special report on substance use, dependence, and abuse in correctional facilities, 58 percent of state prison inmates and 63 percent of local jail inmates met the medical criteria for alcohol or substance addiction; however, only 28 percent of adults incarcerated in state prisons and 22 percent of adults held in local jails received any type of treatment services. In addition, only 16.6 percent of correctional facilities throughout the United States offered treatment in specialized settings that can produce better outcomes. The RSAT Program supports state, territorial, local, and tribal governments in developing residential and aftercare services that emphasize partnerships between correctional staff and treatment community to help adults with substance use disorders (SUDs) break the cycle of addiction. RSAT goals are to ensure 1) that participants receive aftercare servicers coordinated between the correctional treatment program and other social service and rehabilitation programs; 2) that states coordinate RSAT activities with any state and/or local programs that address the target population; 3) residential prison programs are limited to adults with 6 to 12 months remaining in their confinement so they can be released after completing the program instead of returning to prison; and 4) the treatment population is separated from the general correctional population; and 5)  program designs are based on effective science- and evidence-based practices. The first year of the RSAT Program was 1996. In FY 2021, RSAT programs provided SUD treatment services to about 21,000 individuals. Information is provided on who can apply for funding and how funds are distributed.


Date Published: July 1, 2022