I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.