It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
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.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.