Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
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.
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 wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
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.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.