Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Judaism in Prison
Isaac M. Jaroslawicz
Jews make up a small minority of the population of the U.S. prison population. Partly because of their numbers, and partly because most prison personnel are not familiar with the religious and ritual requirements of Jewish inmates, it is often very difficult for observant Jews to practice their religion properly in prison. This entry gives a sense of some of the issues associated with Judaism in prison. Jewish law imposes a duty on its adherents to ensure that all actions, including eating, drinking, talking, walking, sitting, dressing, transacting business, praying, studying, lying down, and rising up, are all performed in a certain way for the sake of, and in a manner worthy of, serving our Creator. Accordingly, the observant Jew's day is consumed with ritual, requiring such items as certain articles of clothing (e.g., a head covering such as a yarmulke, a prayer shawl (the tallis or tzitzit), prayer books, ...