To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or 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. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.