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.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.
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.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.