Alternative Sentencing
A large number of our residents come to Beit T'Shuvah as a result of their contact with the criminal justice system. The Alternative Sentencing staff, led by Carrie Newman and supported by Rachel Ehrman, Janet Markowitz, and Michael Rosenfeld, assists these clients by conducting in-custody interviews and assessments to determine program eligibility. If an individual is determined to be appropriate for Beit T'Shuvah, the Alternative Sentencing staff advocates in court for that person to receive sentencing to Beit T'Shuvah as an alternative to serving jail or prison time, usually for offenses related to drug and alcohol abuse. The Alternative Sentencing staff prepares sentencing plans and court reports in an effort to persuade a generally punitive system to consider rehabilitative options for those clients who seem ready for, and open to, treatment.

For those residents who come to Beit T'Shuvah of their own volition, but who often have unresolved legal issues upon entry, the Alternative Sentencing staff works with them to clear up the "wreckage of their past," so that they are ready to return to society as responsible and prosocial adults upon completion of the program. Alternative Sentencing also corresponds with Jewish offenders serving time in state or federal prison who are seeking drug and alcohol treatment and/or transitional resources upon their parole from prison. For Jewish offenders serving lengthier sentences, the office serves as a connection to Jewish tradition and the Jewish recovering community through regular correspondence with these inmates.

The Alternative Sentencing Department also provides visitation for Jewish inmates within the Los Angeles County Jail system, offering spiritual guidance, addiction counseling and a connection to Judaic tradition. They often serve as a liaison between inmates and their families, in an attempt to assist both through the often frightening and confusing experience of incarceration. For those inmates who are not appropriate for Beit T'Shuvah placement, alternative placements, referrals, and mental health advocacy are sometimes provided.


Are We There Yet? My ordination was about three months ago. I tried very hard to not attach too ma ...(read more)

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