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Criminal Justice

A prison cell

Shavuot marks the end of the counting of the Omer, the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. Many view the counting of the Omer as a spiritual and conscientious practice—but while the Reform Jewish community conscientiously counts through 49 days, we know that there are many who count days, weeks, and years as they serve time in the criminal justice system.

Rabbi Neil P.G. Hirsch
Prisoner's hands and arms coming through jail cell bars

Joseph’s story, from slave to prisoner to prince, illustrates an important lesson: all prisoners, no matter their alleged crime, are capable of redemption and renewal. 

Matt Fidel

We enjoyed the music we heard and the good food we ate in New Orleans, but the real highlight was meeting our host, Calvin, and learning about his life and work. We returned home with more insight, more hope and more inspiration – and we are so glad we stayed at 1317 Feliciana Street.

Larry Glickman, FTA

I believe that prolonged solitary confinement is a violation both of the Eighth Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, and a violation of religious ethics, which maintain that every human being is made in the image of God and thus entitled to be treated with dignity.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer

What does the murder of 20 of our most precious and most vulnerable creations and six of their teachers who loved them tell us about ourselves?

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
In 2008 President Obama campaigned on a pledge to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. In his first week on the job the President signed an Executive Order calling for the prison’s swift closure. However, today the prison at Guantanamo remains in operation and continues to hold 166 detainees. Although the issue went largely unmentioned in the 2012 campaign, President Obama did say in an interview on The Daily Show that failing to close Guantanamo was a major regret of his first term and would be a renewed goal after the election. We at the RAC, and the broader anti-torture/civil liberties community, hope to hold the President to his word in the coming weeks as the Senate debates the National Defense Authorization Act.
Benny Witkovsky

One year and ten months after fatally shooting six people and attempting the assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Jared

Every year, 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults.

Mikey Pasek


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