Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
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.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
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.