Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal? Attitudes Towards Reintegration of Released Prisoners Among Israeli Public

Efrat Shoham, Uri Timor


The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of different groups toward the reintegration of released prisoners in Israeli society, characterized by the groups’ ability to directly or indirectly contribute to the prisoners’ reintegration in normative society. The sample included 551 subjects divided into three groups: Representatives of the law enforcement system, owners  or managers of businesses of different sizes, and members of the general public. A mapping sentence, defining a specific world of content, was defined for each of the three groups. Using this mapping sentence, the researchers constructed a separate questionnaire for each test group, phrased according to Likert scale. The findings of this study suggest that, at declarative level, a high percentage of the subjects express sympathetic attitudes towards the reintegration of released prisoners in the community, and their rehabilitation within it. However, it should be noted that there is often a gap between a person’s stated position  and his/her actual behavior. We can conclude that members of the  Israeli public  do not declaratively express an extreme position against reintegration of released prisoners. The findings of this study suggest that it would be beneficial to increase public awareness in Israel of the advantages of rehabilitating and reintegrating released prisoners in the community.

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