No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
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.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
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.