To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
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.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
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.