U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Inside Look at Israeli Prisoners' World of Values

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Dated: 2001 Pages: 63-83
Brenda Geiger; Uri Timor
Date Published
21 pages
This study took an inside look at Israeli convicts' world of values as they approached release from prison.
Phenomenological interviews with 31 repeat convicts in an Israeli maximum security prison indicated a hierarchy of values that was consistently reordered depending on the individual's desire to be in or out of crime. In a life of crime, illegal opportunities to achieve financial success are sanctioned. Fast cash, partying, loyalty to one's friends, and excitement became the primary sources of the offender's commitment. The values of fatherhood, family life, and hard work were considered limits to an offender's freedom. Nevertheless, these values appeared in the forefront of the offenders' narratives, along with their renewed interest in leaving crime. The prisoners' narratives revealed a clear differentiation between the clean and the corrupted world of crime. In the former world, offenders follow a code of honor and adopt the same values as those of law-abiding citizens, although they assign different weights to these values. In the latter world, hard drugs and extortion make the offenders "sink deeper and deeper into an aimless life filled with corruption." Note, references