America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.