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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
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.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.
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.