Question: In ancient times there was a court of Kabbalists—Sanhedrin. How do you think such a court would assess a crime committed in a state of passion?
Answer: During the times of the Sanhedrin, it ruled, judged, and educated society.
It was a governing body, foundational in its laws and educated the population. The entire ideological tune of the society was focused on it. Decisions were made on how to pull the society to a higher degree, educate a new generation, and so on.
In fact, the court’s purpose was not to punish but to correct a person. According to the notions of those times, there was no such punishment as imprisonment. What can be achieved by this? Nothing.
Send the offender to some kind of forced labor, force him to live in a certain society that will correct him. At the time of the Sanhedrin, there were so-called cities of refuge or other places where a person would be under the influence of the most serious educators rather than supervisors, oppressors, or guards.
While today, we isolate a person from society, place him in a concentrated, evil, terrible society of murderers, robbers, and rapists. Naturally, he receives additional bad influences from such a place.
And after that we let him back in! So what is achieved by that?! Someone who is 20, 30, or 100% evil is released into a normal society.
Naturally, he will act as he was taught in prison. Therefore, all prison and detention systems are detrimental. It practically turns our society into one detention center. And there is no escape from it.
Although in many countries this system is called correctional labor, the fact is, they do not seriously set the goal of correction. While the Sanhedrin was intimately involved in this.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Outlaw” 12/19/10