I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
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.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
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.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
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.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.