Human Beings Shouldn’t Be Treated as “Garbage”

Rabbi Shlomo Yoffe

The New Jersey Jewish News recently covered a symposium on the Jewish view of incarceration. Here’s an excerpt:

Disparities in sentencing for minorities and lengthy sentences for minor or first-time offenses are often antithetical to Jewish notions of restitution and rehabilitation, said Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law, a division of Chabad Lubavitch of Midtown Manhattan.

“We have to find ways to enable them to pay back, to rectify, to give back to society, maybe with certain limits on their movement,” said Yaffe, speaking before 700 attorneys Sept. 16 at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. “But the idea to throw people away as so much human garbage is unconscionable for the Jewish people.”

Later in the article, Los Angeles rabbi Elliot Dorf is quoted as saying, “In some cases the very experience of being confined leads people to change their lives, but only if they are supported once they are released in finding housing and a job.”

Sounds like a job for the HINDA Institute…

Full article here.

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