Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Shackled for Life

Sarah Buzaglo

The disgrace and humiliation ex-convicts must endure after being released and reintegrated is no secret, but even those who don’t feel shamed by their deeds must cope with the deep psychological effects of incarceration. Jonathan Pollard might get a hero’s welcome when he’s paroled, but after 30 years in prison, will his transition into the free world be any smoother than the rest?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

In 1985, Navy analystJonathanPollard was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison for passing on classified information to Israel. Now, after three decades of grassroots campaigning, massive fundraising efforts, and numerous petitions for clemency, the Department of Justice has finally granted permission to the US Parole Commission to grant Pollard an early release from the medium-security federal penitentiary in Butner, North Carolina, where he is currently incarcerated. Pollard is scheduled to go free on November 21. While the parole board’s decision is widely celebrated, freedom arrives in tandem with a hefty price tag, and for all ex-convicts, including Pollard, the transition to life after prison is complex — sometimes just as daunting as life within prison walls. Pollard does have one major advantage though: He’s not the standard ex-convict timidly, shamefully returning to his old community, afraid he’ll be shunned because of his criminal record. In many quarters, not only is Pollard considered a victim trapped in the squeeze of little-known international political intrigue, but after all these years, he’s looked upon as a hero whom many communities will be happy to embrace. Still, what difficulties is he expected to face? And more generally, what challenges do all ex-prisoners have to navigate, regardless of whether or not they receive a hero’s welcome?

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah