• From 1973 to 2007, the number of U.S. residents incarcerated in prisons and jails rose from 161 per 100,000 to 767 per 100,000
  • Today, there are around 2.2 million adults incarcerated in the United States
  • In PA, there are 50,366 incarcerated
  • State expenditures on Corrections have increased from $6.7 Billion in 1985 to $57.7 Billion in 2016
  • In PA specifically, that cost was $2.1 Billion, or $42,727 per inmate
  • 1.7 million children in the U.S. have a parent currently incarcerated
  • 65% of male Pennsylvania state prison inmates have at least one child
  • 72% of female Pennsylvania state prison inmates have at least one child
  • The divorce rate for those who go to prison for a year or more exceeds 80%


The Alternative Sentencing Program is, first and foremost, designed to provide a rehabilitative alternative to incarceration. The social and economic ramifications of incarceration are illustrated by extensive statistics compiled by a multitude of sources. The Aleph Institute has shaped the program to provide nonviolent and truly remorseful first-time offenders an opportunity to restructure personal priorities and goals while maintaining the integrity of the family.

Rehabilitation through education and community involvement, rather than incarceration, is the core principle of the Alternative Sentencing Program. Not only does the offender benefit from an alternative sentence, the community and the families of offenders will be spared the ancillary costs of incarceration. By focusing on deterrence, punishment, restitution, and rehabilitation, the Program creates prosocial alternatives to avoid the negative impact characteristic of incarceration, on the offender and the community. Individuals will be productive members of society, improving the individual’s ability to make restitution.


The Alternative Sentencing Program is recommended for defendants who:

  1. Have not engaged in a violent crime;
  2. Are a first-time offender;
  3. Are not deemed a danger to society; and
  4. Are considered by the Court to show remorse for their unlawful conduct.

A defendant who satisfies all of the foregoing criteria may be referred to the Program.

Once a defendant is accepted, the Aleph Institute will craft an alternative sentence specific to the facts of the particular defendant’s case. Every case is different, although generally an alternative sentence will include:

  1. A specific amount of probation time under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office.
    • The amount of probation time will vary based on the case and what the Court should deem appropriate.
  2. Required reporting to the Aleph Institute on a consistent, if not daily, basis.
    • The Aleph Institute will submit monthly compliance reports to the U.S. Probation Office documenting the individual’s progress in the program.
  3. At minimum, three hours of religious and/or social education sessions per week.
    • Sessions are to be taught by the individual’s clergy person, and centered on relation to the damage the individual’s offense caused the victim and the individual’s family, as well as the societal implications of the offense.
  4. At minimum, fifteen hours of community service per week.
    • The nature of community service will be decided by considering the nature of the individual’s offense, and will be monitored by the Aleph Institute. The Aleph Institute’s record of community service will be included in the monthly report submitted to the U.S. Probation Office.
  5. For the initial six months, a monthly meeting with Program Director Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel.
    • After marked progress over the initial six-month period, meetings with Rabbi Vogel will be held every three months.
  6. A weekly session with the Aleph Institute Social Worker.

The costs of the Alternative Sentencing Program are to be incurred by the individual, including weekly religious and moral education, monthly meetings with Rabbi Vogel, weekly meetings with the Aleph Institute Social Worker, and administrative costs associated with the Program. In cases of financial hardship, costs may be deferred, reduced, or waived, based on the amount of restitution to be paid and other factors affecting payment.


The Aleph Institute has had 100% effectiveness in preventing recidivism with prior individuals using similar alternative sentencing plans. Similar rehabilitation and reentry methods of moral education, community service, accountability, and spiritual counseling produced a recidivism rate of less than 20% with individuals on probation or reentering society. The Alternative Sentencing Program aims to continue and build upon the Aleph Institute’s legacy of providing individuals with rehabilitative services for the benefit of the criminal justice system and the greater community.