Rehabilitation of Prisoners Within the Kibbutz Movement Between 1983-2001

Efrat Shoham, The Academic College of Ashkelon

ABSTRACT
The present research examines quantitative and qualitative characteristics of 160 released prisoners who were sent for rehabilitation to the Kibbutz Movement by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Service between the years 1983-2001. The research examines the legal and socio-economic variables of the prisoners sent to the project, as well as a measure of their involvement during their stay at the Kibbutz. After leaving the rehabilitation framework at the Kibbutz, several benchmarks were examined for the success of the rehabilitation, such as: awareness, occupation, inter-personal relations, drugs, joining the army, etc.

The research is based on the data of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Service, interviews with the released prisoners, and interviews with the families that adopted the prisoners at the kibbutz.

It is important to mention that even though the rehabilitation project at kibbutzes started in 1983, until today, no systematic research has been conducted that deals with the variables referred to above.

The use of an entire community of people, for purposes of rehabilitation, raises several intersting theoretical and methodological questions. The main questions focused on in this research, were:

1. Which prisoners were incorporated into the rehabilitation project: legal, socio-demographic and personal traits. 2. Levels of involvement into the kibbutz community. 3. Levels of success after leaving the kibbutz: occupation, family, awareness, the use of drugs, army service, etc. 4. The cultural dialogue in the kibbutz surrounding the absorption of prisoners and the role of the kibbutz in this matter. 5. The characteristics of the developing dialogue between the prisoner accepted and the receiving community -- an analysis of the life stories of the prisoners.

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Updated 05/20/2006