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.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.