Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.