Constructing a rehabilitative reality in special religious wards in Israeli prisons

Uri Timor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The traditional prison is not an institution fit for the rehabilitation of criminals. Its structural, social, and cultural realities suppress the ability and motivation of inmates to construct new, more positive perceptions of themselves and of their world, and thus greatly limit their prospects of undergoing an essential change and abandoning crime. In several prisons in Israel, there are special wards for religious rehabilitation. In the judgment of prison authorities, these wards enjoy significant success in the rehabilitation of their inmates. This study analyzes the special features of the prison wards for religious rehabilitation, such as the change in language, the new centering of the prisoners' world, the adoption of new social and selfimages, and the moderation of the characteristics of the total institution. Thus, these religious wards facilitate construction of a new noncriminal reality. This study examines the wards' influence on the prisoners' perceptions of reality and their behavior in these wards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-359
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


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