The Rebbe's View On Prison 

“....If a person is being held in prison, the goal should not be punishment but rather to give him the chance to reflect on the undesirable actions for which he was incarcerated. He should be given the opportunity to learn, improve himself and prepare for his release when he will commence an honest, peaceful, new life, having used his days in prison toward this end. Counseling

“In order for this be a reality a prisoner must be allowed to maintain a sense that he is created in the image of God; he is a human being who can be a reflection of Godliness in this world. But when a prisoner is denied this sense and feels subjugated and controlled; never allowed to raise up his head, then the prison system not only fails at its purpose, it creates in him a greater criminal than there was before. One of the goals of the prison system is to help Jewish inmates and non-Jewish inmates ... to raise up their spirits and to encourage them, providing the sense, to the degree possible, that they are just as human as those that are free; just as human as the prison guards. In this way they can be empowered to improve themselves ... ”

No Jewish Inmate Should Ever Be Forgotten

Southern Illinois is home to approximately 13 correctional institutions. As chaplain, Rabbi Mendel travels throughout the state to visit every Jewish inmate in these facilities once a month. These visits provide a ray of light to those languishing in the dark. 

This is done in conjunction with the Hinda Institute, a program directed by Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman (the last name gives it away- yes, it's rabbi Mendel's father) in Chicago. This organization caters to the needs of Jewish inmates and their families, helping people re-enter society and providing tools to stay out of the prison system. To find out more about this organization, visit

We don't condone all actions. We do accept all people. 

 If you know of anyone in need in a local jail or prison, please contact us.