Did you know there are presently more than 15,000 Jews incarcerated in U.S. and European prisons? Have you considered that each convict has an innocent family suffering financial and emotional hardships as well? Chabad-Lubavitch has created and implemented a host of programs for prisoners facing the unique challenge of retaining their Jewish identity, and for families dealing with issues of poverty when a family member is serving time.
Prior to sentencing, Chabad presents proposals to judges suggesting alternative means of punishment while eliminating or minimizing periods of incarceration. However, while the inmates are serving time, Chabad assists inmates by providing:
Advocacy for the constitutional rights of Jews to obtain kosher food and to observe the Sabbath and religious holidays.
Religious, educational, holiday and ritual materials promoting Jewish learning including books, audio and videotapes.
Bulletins for wardens, chaplains and institutional staff alerting them to upcoming religious holidays and outlining the ritual practices.
Collect call telephone hotlines administering religious, emotional and spiritual support.
Rabbinic visitations and counseling.
A newsletter offering spiritual and practical guidance using the weekly Torah portion to convey lessons in Jewish law and philosophy.
Chabad assists innocent spouses and children of inmates by providing:
Emergency financial assistance including funds to prevent eviction, food insecurity, clothing and medical needs
Counseling, essential holiday materials and religious objects
Support groups with access to information regarding psychological issues, prison release guidelines, parole and bankruptcy